It was a big win for the Uasin Gishu County Assembly when Eldoret High Court dismissed with costs a petition wanting to stop implementation of the Uasin Gishu county Equitable Ward Development Fund (EWD).
The Fund was established by an Act that was passed by the County Assembly early in the year where each of the 30 wards would get a share of the county development fund on a 40:60 ratio.
The court ruling now gives the county assembly the go ahead to implement the Act with each of the 30 wards due to get Sh.30m from the equitable ward fund in the first year. The 40:60 ratio will be implemented in the subsequent years.
The historic Act was signed into law by the county Assembly speaker, David Kiplagat. However, a human rights organisation, Centre for Human Rights and Mediation moved to court to stop enactment of the Act on grounds that it was unconstitutional and violated the principals of public finance and appropriation and separation of powers.
The petitioner further claimed that the county assembly did not provide reasonable time for public participation.
However the county assembly through its lawyer Zephaniah Yego opposed the petition saying the petitioner lacked a locus standi since he had not declared any interests on the matter.
The petition was before Eldoret Judge, Hellen Omondi, who in her ruling observed that the petitioner errored in enjoining the Commission on Revenue Allocation and the Attorney General as interested parties saying it did not meet the definition of interested parties rule.
The County Assembly in its preliminary objection of the petition had sought the County Government of Uasin Gishu, the Attorney General together with the Commission on Revenue Allocation (CRA) who were sued as interested parties be extracted from the proceedings.
As soon as the court dismissed the petition, the County Government yesterday conducted elections for ward officials to put the process of implementing the Fund into action.
The elected officials will manage the Uasin Gishu County Equitable Ward Development Fund and implement ward projects for a term of three years
Initially the County governor, Jackson Mandago rejected the county assembly bill as he was opposed to the division formula, but the assembly overruled thus transiting the bill into law automatically. He however reached an amicable agreement with the MCAs later.
By Kiptanui Cherono