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MCAs allocate Sh2b to 45 wards for developments as colleagues cry foul

Meru Governor Kawira Mwangaza. [Phares Mutembei, Standard]

The Meru County Assembly has altered Governor Kawira Mwangaza's ambitious development budget for the financial year starting July 1, 2024.

In the changes, the MCAs have allocated Sh45 million for development for each of the 45 wards out of the Sh4 billion the Executive had proposed for development, leaving Mwangaza with Sh2 billion for her development projects.

The Jacob Mwirigi-chaired Budget and Appropriation Committee made far-reaching changes to the County Fiscal Strategy Plan (CFSP).

Abogeta West MCA Dennis ‘DMK’ Kiogora said the assembly had adopted a program-based budget for the first time since the advent of devolution.

Kiogora said in the past regimes, the Assembly was passing the budget without knowing which particular projects the allocations were going to.

“We want funds to be shared equitably and have allocated Sh4 billion for development funds. What can be shared out of that is Sh2 billion and when we divide it among 45 wards each gets Sh45 million,” Kiogora said.

He said the MCAs will have the Sh45 million which will be spent on projects residents requested in public participation forums.

He said the Governor will still have funds in form of the conditional grants

The rep said out of the Sh45million, residents had proposed Sh20million in road projects on specific projects, Sh7million in water and irrigation, Sh6.5million in cooperatives and trade, Sh2.5million in health, Sh8million in education, Sh500, 000 in youth and Sh500,000 in agriculture.

Igoji West MCA Mutembei Mbiuki said residents had presented requests for projects worth Sh200 million but had to prioritize those that would fit in the Sh45 million budget.

Immediately after the Assembly approved the report in a special sitting on Thursday the (minority) MCAs who are allied to the Governor accused their counterparts of bias.

“They are very biased. They have not balanced the wards as it is supposed to be but I know our Governor will not assent to that, they have disadvantaged the MCAs supporting the Governor,” said Abothoguchi Central’s Douglas Mutea.

His Kiagu Ward counterpart Simon Kiambi, another Mwangaza ally, said he opposed what the Assembly had done with the CFSP.

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