Former MCAs on the spot for not paying car, house loans

Kakamega County MCAs protest at the assembly after ejecting Speaker Morris Buluma and clerk over alleged mismanagement of county funds. [Benjamin Sakwa, Standard]
The Kakamega County Assembly plans to auction the property of former MCAs who have defaulted on car loans and mortgages.

The assembly wants to recover at least Sh250 million the MCAs were given to buy cars and houses by the previous administration.

Assembly Clerk Patrick Kamwessar said delays in repaying the loans had plunged the assembly into a financial crisis and made it difficult to advance loans to the sitting MCAs.

“We have tried engaging the former MCAs to repay the loans in an honourable way but it has been futile. The only option we have is to engage lawyers to handle the matter since they have failed to respond to notices to pay up,” said Mr Kamwessar.

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At least 75 per cent of the ward representatives lost their seats in last year's General Election. The assembly has advertised for lawyers to help recover the money.

“Each of the former MCAs owe the county between Sh500,000 and Sh4 million, but we are currently recovering a paltry Sh4 million a month. This is insufficient to advance to the current MCAs and only a few of them have been given loans,” said Kamwessar.

Stringent measures

Every member of the county assembly is entitled to a Sh2 million car loan and a Sh3 million mortgage, which are supposed to be paid after the expiry of their term in office at an interest rate of three per cent.

The assembly has also proposed stringent measures to ensure that MCAs who get the facilities do not default.

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One of the measures is that vehicles and land acquired under the loan facility be co-registered between the assembly and the ward representative.

The non-disbursement of car loans and mortgages was one of the main reasons MCAs call for the ouster of Speaker Morris Buluma and Kamwessar.

Governor Wycliffe Oparanya has maintained that the county assembly would not receive additional funds for car loans and mortgages, saying the money was not factored in the 2018/2019 financial year.

“I gave the previous assembly Sh444 million for car loans and mortgages but it was poorly managed. The money was not a grant but a revolving refund and members who didn’t make it back to the assembly did not pay the money they took,” said Mr Oparanya.

The governor said the management of the assembly should find ways of recovering the money from MCAs who lost in the last polls to ensure there was enough money to service car loans and mortgages for the current assembly.  

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General ElectionKakamega County