By Maureen Odiwuor and Dennis Onyango
Kisumu, Kenya: Kisumu County Assembly members poked holes in the governor’s speech delivered during the official opening of the House.
A number of them felt Governor Jack Ranguma neglected fundamental issues, which have haunted the county for long. They said the governor did not explain how he would achieve the plans he has for the county.
West Kisumu ward representative Paul Odhiambo said insecurity in Kisumu, particularly in the slums, was not captured in the governor’s speech. He said a spate of criminal activities have been reported in his ward, forcing residents to live in fear.
“Will entrepreneurs have confidence to invest in this county if security is ignored,” posed Odhiambo.
He told the House that one person was shot dead while another is still hospitalised after gangs attacked them last week.
He also criticised the governor for not considering the disabled in his speech, saying it is a constitutional requirement. His sentiments were echoed by Nyalenda ‘A’ representative Jackton Onunga, who lamented about insecurity. Kajulu ward’s Joseph Opepo suggested that streetlights be installed in Kisumu’s main streets as a security measure.
“We can even have proper street lighting done using solar panels,” he said.
Former mayor, now Shauri Moyo-Kaloleni ward representative, Prisca Auma said there were no clear guidelines on how to make the lakeside city clean, terming it ‘a pile of garbage’.
Her Manyatta B counterpart Nereah Okombo said to succeed in agriculture, the culture of denying women land ownership has to change because they play a major role in farming. West Nyakach’s James Omolo said agriculture will only be possible if soil conversation is done, especially in flood prone areas to curb soil erosion. He said the governor should liaise with other counties that benefit from the lake to curb water hyacinth.
Kobura Ward’s Maline Atieno said Ranguma failed to mention how to address poor drainage.
Kolwa central ward representative Kevine Odhiambo said the governor neglected early childhood education. “He only dwelt on college and university education, which is a prerogative of the central government,” Okoth said.