Lobby groups demand accountability from Kilifi County

Kilifi Civil Society Organisations together with Kilifi Governor Gideon Mung’aro during a roundtable discussion [Marion Kithi, Standard]

Lobby groups in Kilifi County have demanded accountability on the projects undertaken by various departments.

They stated that they’re aggrieved with the current happenings which are affecting good governance and accountability in the county.

They were speaking during a round table discussion organized by lobby groups for the governor and his executive in Kilifi town.

Speaking on their behalf the Executive Director of Kenya Community Support Center [KECOSCE] Phylis Mwema cited inappropriate budget-making and implementation processes, corruption, together with non-adherence to constitutional principles and provisions relating to devolution among others, as some of the pertinent matters that are affecting service delivery to Kilifi residents.

They accused leaders in Kilifi County, both the County Assembly and the Executive, of putting their self-interests above service to the people.

Mwema further said the county has not recognized the contribution of the civil societies even though they have been at the frontline on funding and contributing to the community's wellbeing.

“My organization has contributed over Sh1.6 million on the public participation act, but the county has been hesitant to pass the act for reasons best known to them.”

They also noted that county officers have become more corrupt.

“When you go to pay revenue at the revenue offices, the officer in charge tells you to pay the money in their accounts instead of the county account, this is a high level of corruption,” said Mwema.

They threatened to go to court if things will not improve including putting a stop to corruption.

Haki Yetu Program manager Peter Kazungu said the county has also not been efficient in matters of public participation.

“The Department of Public Participation has not been efficient in matters of public participation. It has been giving short notices on crucial documents so the community do not get enough time to interrogate the documents in order to give their informed opinions,” he said.

“We thought it was a new dawn for the people of Kilifi, but now some corruption issues have started to come up like the issue of revenue collection,” he added.

Governor Gideon Mung'aro however dismissed claims that he is corrupt.

He faulted the EACC allegations of procurement irregularities of planned payment of Sh103 million for the acquisition of a county revenue management system.

Preliminary investigations by the anti-graft body indicate that the successful bidder, Aden Construction Company Ltd, does not have the requisite capacity and experience to undertake revenue management and collection.

EACC further points out that there was no meaningful negotiation on revenue sharing and the agreed percentage of 25 per cent is exorbitant and unconscionable.

''I  can tell the EACC that was malicious, raindrops have been collecting in this county for the past eight years, they were taking 30 per cent of the revenue collected and on top of it, their workers were paid by the county,” he said.

“As of today, we have money at the SBM bank it was over Sh700 million now it has reached about Sh50 million, every month raindrops is deducting Sh4 million to pay workers who don't exist, were they [EACC] not there when this all was happening,” Mung'aro posed.

He said the 25 per cent was less compared to the 30 per cent that was being deducted in the previous regime.

“The individual subcontracting is not our business, our business is the technology but even when they wrote the first letter demanding to know about the tender, I had asked my officers not to pay the tender.”

Mung'aro however said the delay will see the county lose money through its corrupt officers.

“Kilifi will lose money because all the money being collected every Saturday and Sunday ends up in the officer's pockets, this is the  challenge of home source revenue collection we are currently facing."