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Row between governor Nderitu Gachagua and fund team deepens

CENTRAL
By Dennis Mbae | December 24th 2015

Governor Nderitu Gachagua’s second rejection of the Ward Development Fund Bill, 2015 has angered the assembly’s Ward Development Fund Committee, which now seeks a two thirds majority to overturn his reservation.

The bill seeks to allocate Sh6 million to each of the 30 wards in a moved aimed at spurring economic growth and development in the county.

Declining to sign the bill into law for the first time, Mr Gachagua disapproved the designation of the MCAs as patrons of the Ward Development Committees.

He said the clause violated both the County Governments Act, 2012 and a circular by the Controller of Budget dated December 18, 2014 which stated that MCAs cannot be part of a committee administering the Ward Development Fund.

DEVELOPMENT BUDGET

Gachagua also recommended that the section authorising MCAs to attend all meetings but not vote be deleted in its entirety.

In addition, the county chief sought to have the fund drawn only from the budgetary allocation for development and not from the county’s ordinary revenue and transfers from the national government, as stipulated in the bill.

The bill proposes that the fund be an amount not less than five per cent of the sum total of the county revenue and revenue received from the State.

“Since the fund is for development, it should be a percentage of the development sum of the budget and not the whole budget,” noted Gachagua as he referred the bill back to the county assembly.

Upon receipt, the Ward Development Fund Committee under the chairmanship of Muruguru Ward Rep Antony Kibuu expunged the contentious clauses but retained the section providing for the source of the fund.

This, however, did not sit well with Gachagua who declined to append his signature.

While presenting the report to the assembly yesterday, a defiant Mr Kibuu maintained that the bill would not undergo any more changes, and presented it for a vote during a special sitting but it failed due to lack of quorum.

He requested that the bill be deferred until a later date during which he hoped it would have gained support of the requisite two thirds majority.

“I have no doubt that the bill will sail through as it is if all members, especially from the majority party, show up for the next special sitting. We only need the support of a few minority members,” he said.

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