A watchdog group has questioned the rationale in which the county government used in establishing two Kajiado municipality boards.
Consumer Grassroots Association Director, Alice Kemunto, on Thursday, took to task members of the County Assembly during Bunge Mashinani session at Nakeel grounds in Nkaimurunya Ward when she questioned how MCAs allowed the establishment of the boards without public participation.
Kemunto, whose association is based in Ongata Rongai, told the assembly she felt due process was not followed in the establishment of the two boards.
“As a civil rights activist, I understand well that sovereign power is vested on the people of Kajiado and that power was ripped off from them by not being given time to discuss what concerns them. That renders illegal the establishment of those two boards,” said Kemunto.
But the Land and Physical Planning chair of the House Committee, Paul Metui (Entonet/Lenkisim), told the Assembly that Ngong and Kajiado town municipalities were a special donation from State House and therefore did not require any public participation.
“The two municipalities were handed over to the county in a special arrangement. The question of public participation would then follow when it has been allocated funds, and the people will be asked what they want through that process,” said Metui.
But Kemunto later told Kajiado News Update Online that she did not get a satisfactory answer from the Assembly.
“That was a shallow answer for a very important matter that concerns the public. The new constitution of 2010 gave Wanjiku the power to question the government on what it wants to do for her. For the MCA to tell us the two municipalities were a donation from State House, that does not make any sense at all,” said Kemunto.
She questioned how the county government advertised for four-member positions in each of the two municipalities and when she went to check, the two boards had 9 sitting members each.
“How was that number arrived at, and how were they picked without any formal advertisement? This is a bridge of the existing law because the public is in the dark and do not know how the county government will run these outfits that are supposed to be independent,” wondered Kemunto.
Earlier in the Assembly session, Kemunto expressed concern over the alleged existing high license fees imposed on traders in the county.
She claimed business people are not able to meet what the county government is asking for in trade licenses fees and that the business people are now forced to bribe inspectorate department staff so they can operate without paying anything.
“The county has opened an extortion avenue for their inspectorate staff millions of shillings in bribes in order to allow illicit trade in our towns. They are denying the government revenue to run its affairs,” claimed Kemunto.
During the interaction with the public, a resident of Ongata Rongai town, Amina Jama, shocked the House when she claimed 449 bars are operating in their locality and the area MCA Mwathi Pere is aware that only 200 are doing business legally.
Jama also took issue with Pere for not telling his electorate what became of ward bursaries.
“We have not received bursaries for a whole year, and we do not know when this will happen,” asked Jama.
The Assembly House Committee on licensing, Peter Tirishe (Mosiro), while attempting to answer why there were more than four hundred bars in one town surrounded by schools, hospitals and Churches said his committee will “regulate them soon” and went direct to sit down without giving specifics.
Tirishe, who was aggressively protected by the Assembly Whip, Martin Kimemia (Oloolua) not to respond, walked to his seat despite calls from the public for him to explain how he will regulate the number of bars with more than 249 operating illegally.
Kimemia said; “Let us hear more questions from the public so that Hon. Tirishe will respond to them later. We are here until all the answerers are answered.”
The public never heard any answer from Tirishe as expected and members of the public left the venue with a lot of questions unanswered.