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Lobby petitions Governor Awiti’s administration over misuse of public funds

By James Omoro | February 26th 2021

Homa Bay People’s Voice (HOPEVO) Forum members address the media in Homa Bay town on February 24, 2021. [James Omoro, Standard]

A lobby group has petitioned Homa Bay County Government to ensure prudent use of public funds on various development projects.

Homa Bay People’s Voice (HOPEVO) forum has questioned the improper implementation of development projects in the county between 2018/19 and 2019/20 financial years.

The lobby group comprising more than 200 people marched to the office of Governor Cyprian Awiti and the office of the county assembly clerk on Thursday to present their petition.

In the petition, they are questioning a number of multiple allocations of funds to given development projects, incomplete projects and non-existent projects.

The incomplete mega projects include Sh160 million Kigoto Maize Mill. The project was started in July 2015 at Kigoto trading centre in Suba South Constituency but has not been completed.

 In August 2015, the county Government launched the construction of a Sh500 million Arujo animal feeds factory. The project was started at Kanyabala village in Homa Bay Town Constituency but it has not been completed.

They claimed that the construction of the Homa Bay County Stadium perimeter wall was double funded in 2018/19 and 2019/20 financial year budgets.

Led by the lobby Co-ordinator Evans Odhiambo, the human rights defenders complained of non-existent projects amounting to millions of shillings.

 “We have realised improper expenditure of public funds in various departments including health, water, trade, sports and education. That is why we have come up with this petition,” said Odhiambo.

In their petition, they want the county government to assure them of accountability of public funds for the implementation of development projects in the area.

“We want our county government to assure accountability of public funds,” said Philip Omuga, a member.

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Ken Ouma called on the county to engage the community in the implementation of development projects through proper public participation.

“We also want the county to engage the community in order to undertake projects which meet our needs,” said Ouma.

The petition came after Auditor General Nancy Gathungu revealed irregular expenditure of Sh125.65m revenue that was generated by the county hospitals in the 2018/19 financial year.

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