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We pushed for reshuffle to tame runaway corruption – MCAs

MCA Martin Kimemia Njogu.
MCA Martin Kimemia Njogu.
The MCAs said they will approve the budget tomorrow on Tuesday but cast doubt that changes the governor made in the cabinet will not redeem him politically

Kajiado MCAs today said they compelled the executive to remove two top officers at the finance department so they can approve the budget on Tuesday.

“The finance department is the kitchen of corruption in this county, and this is the reason why we rejected the budget so the executive could engage with us,” Oloolua MCA Martin Njogu told KNU on Sunday.

The MCA was speaking one day after governor Joseph ole Lenku moved his finance minister, Alais Kisota and his chief officer Sankaire Tima to other county ministries as demanded by MCAs.

Joseph Lenku.
Joseph Lenku had no option but to toe the line to save the county from impending financial messes.

Lenku appointed a former banker, Michael Semera as his new county finance CECM, who was serving in the same position in the water docket.

Njogu said all the 25 elected MCAs agreed that the budget should not be passed by the county assembly until the executive explains where Ward development funds go every year ever since governor Lenku was elected.

Ward development funds

“We asked for the development money because in every financial year we award each electoral ward Sh30 million but for the last three financial years all our projects came to standstill and all the contractors on sight have never been aid,” said Njogu.

Assembly deputy speaker, Joseph Masiaya (Magadi), claimed development project money amounting to Sh7.5 billion approved in the 2020/21 financial year never went to the intended purpose and requested the executive to explain the whereabouts of the money.

The MCAs claimed revenue collected from roadblocks are looted left and right by county staff and are now buying bigger cars than those of the elected ward representatives.

“Some ministers are also behaving like small gods and have no respected for MCAs,” Njogu claimed

Explained

The former finance CECM, Kisota, who was transferred to another docket on Saturday had on Thursday claimed that all the explanations about the Sh7.5 billion and ward development money issues had been fully covered in the proposed budget that was rejected by the MCAs.

“We explained everything in that budget proposal and the MCAs ought to have read it before even rejecting it,” said Kisota.

But the Oloolua MCA insisted that some of the contractors have not been paid since 2017 and yet they completed their work in the wards.

“I have another contractor who was putting up cabro paving bricks in Oloolua town and the money for the work has not been released. They are telling us Covid-19 interfered with the budget last year, an explanation that does not add up,” said Njogu.

Ildamat MCA Samuel Teum had his reservations also on the performance of the governor after accusing the executive of denying MCAs development money that is factored in the budget every financial year.

“What are we going to tell our voters if we go back for public participation on development projects? We have been doing that every year and they are not seeing any projects on the ground,” said Teum.

Redeem

The MCAs said they will approve the budget tomorrow on Tuesday but cast doubt that changes the governor made in the cabinet will not redeem him politically.

Finance Minister Michael Semera takes over office on Monday.
Finance Minister Michael Semera takes over office on Monday.

But Semera, who has now taken over the finance docket, told KNU he is up to the task and he will redeem the confidence of the people.

“We need to pay suppliers and contractors in good time because that is the wish of the governor. Governor Lenku wish everyone well and if a mistake happened, it will be worked out for the sake of every stakeholder in this county,” Semera said on his appointment.

The former county water minister is known for his swiftness in attending to issues in his docket, he revived water supply on the Nol-Turesh pipeline as soon as he was appointed.

Semera has also initiated several mega water projects in Loitokitok, Mashuuru and in Namanga, which have all been commissioned by the governor.

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