Raila attacks MCAs, says their number be reduced

Opposition chief Raila Odinga during the homecoming party of Rangwe MP Lilian Gogo at Omoche Primary school in Homa Bay County. [Emmanuel Wanson, Standard]
The number of MCAs should be reduced to enhance success of devolution, ODM leader Raila Odinga has said.

Speaking during Rangwe MP Lilian Gogo's homecoming party at Omoche Secondary School yesterday, Raila argued that Kenyans would be given opportunity through a referendum to review the number of MCAs each county should have.

“MCAs earn about Sh400,000 if you include allowances. This makes them better off than councilors but it is unfortunate that they still misbehave, which hinders success of devolution. Time has come for Kenyans to have a few MCAs who can serve them effectively,” Raila said.

He argued that the large number of MCAs would have been significant if they were performing their roles effectively.

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MCAs, he said, were a burden to taxpayers because their huge number increased the wage bill.

Raila accused the ward representatives of greed, hence the frequent wrangles that derailed development.

He said MCAs had formed a tendency to blackmail governors with the aim of getting bribed.

He cited wrangles that ensued in counties during budget approval. Raila said MCAs deliberately sabotaged budget approval in county assemblies to intimidate governors to bribe them.

Eradicate poverty

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“MCAs are fond of giving scapegoats for rejecting county budgets during approval. In many cases, they don’t reject the budgets because the budgets are faulty but because they want governors to give them money,” he added.

Raila urged the county legislators to stop threatening governors and county assembly speakers with impeachment.

“MCAs should be satisfied with their salaries and stop this kind of a threat,” he added.

The Opposition leader condemned chaos witnessed in a number of county assemblies in Nyanza.

He said in many instances the MCAs had been fighting for minor personal reasons which could not transform lives of the common  mwananchi, adding that  devolution was a good idea that could help eradicate poverty, but only if officials in power utilised it.

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“We don’t want to hear MCAs fighting for who should belong to which committee or who should drive which car. Let them focus on interests of the common man,” Raila said.

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