MCAs 'support Pesa Mashinani initiative 100 percent'
24 September 2014, 12:01
Bungoma - All Bungoma Members of the County Assembly (MCAs) are fully behind the push for the increase of the allocation of money remitted by the national government to the devolved units, house Deputy Speaker Jane Chebet has said.
Chebet, who is also the Cheptais ward county representative, said they have held several meetings and all her colleagues fully support the governors who are championing for Pesa Mashinani through a national referendum.
Speaking to journalists in her ward after officiating the handing over of driving licenses to over 200 bodaboda operators, Chebet said they support the increase of funds allocated to the counties for the sake of development.
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"We are all in unison supporting Pesa Mashinani initiative 100 percent for the sake of devolution, irrespective of our party affiliation. That is the stand of all Bungoma MCAs," said Chebet.
She added: "Increasing the allocation remitted to County governments to 45 percent will be for the good of all Kenyans. Only a leader who does not have the interest of his people at heart will oppose bringing more resources to the grassroots."
The Council of Governors chairman, Isaac Ruto led governors Paul Chepkwony (Kericho) and Wycliffe Oparanya (Kakamega) in launching the signature collection exercise in Western on Sunday. The governors addressed residents in Malava and Mumias sub-counties of Kakamega County where residents who support the drive began appending their signatures.
MCAs from Kakamega County have also expressed their support for the initiative and vowed to lead the drive in their respective wards. Each of the Ward Representatives has been tasked with coordinating the signature collection in their wards.
Marama West MCA, Habil Bushuru, said the exercise in his ward would take about a week to complete.
"I have appointed someone in each of the polling stations in my ward to carry out the exercise while I oversee the process. We want more money to come to the wards and we will make that possible by sending a clear message from wananchi to the government," he said.
Namamali Ward Representative, Kelvin Olengo from Kakamega County Assembly who was one of the MCAs present during the launch at Mumias, said the initiative would ensure more money for development projects in the grassroots.
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"Kakamega County is large in terms of population yet many of its people are living in poverty because they are unable to access money. We don't want verbal agreements from government but a binding constitutional threshold to ensure that at least 45 percent of national resources are devolved," said Olengo.
Chebet, who was elected on an ODM ticket, scoffed at a section of Jubilee leaders who have rubbished the push for more allocation of funds to counties as a waste of resources and time.
"I want to tell them that the exercise will not in any way be a waste of money for the citizens of this country, especially those in the grassroots. They say you need to spend money to get more money," she said.
"There's no harm in spending KES 10 billion in the referendum and increasing the amount allocated to counties to KES 700 Billion," added Chebet.
The revelation by the Deputy Speaker comes two weeks after Cord co-principal and the area Senator, Moses Wetang'ula held a meeting with over 50 of the 62 MCAs from the region at a Bungoma Hotel.
Briefing journalists after the meeting with 53 MCAs, Wetang'ula said they had agreed with the local leaders that they would spearhead the referendum Campaign initiative at the grassroots at their areas of jurisdiction.
"We will issue booklets for the collection of signatures to each of the ward representatives in Bungoma County and we will work with them to ensure our agenda succeeds," said Wetang'ula.
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