Gumbo: Misuse of devolved funds responsible for poverty in Nyanza

Former Siaya Gubernatorial Candidate Nicholas Gumbo after court dismissed his petition challenging the election of Governor Cornell Rasanga on February 26 2018. [Collins Oduor, Standard]

Governors in Nyanza have been challenged to demonstrate prudent use of devolved funds for improvement of the common man’s livelihood.

Former Rarieda MP Nicholas Gumbo has attributed the high level of poverty afflicting area residents to misuse of devolved funds.

Addressing journalists in Homa Bay town, Gumbo expressed concern that area residents had not benefited from devolved funds since inception of devolution about six years ago.

“It is unfortunate that many Nyanza residents are languishing in abject poverty yet pioneer champions of devolution hail from the region. This has resulted from misappropriation of funds,” said Gumbo.

Gumbo said devolved funds should be spent in undertaking development projects which can transform lives of the people. He challenged Governors in the region to identify mega projects which can boost livelihood of residents.

“Many Nyanza residents are unable to take their children to school due to poverty and this shows that our county governments have not done enough to empower them financially,” he added.

The former MP urged Governors not to consider the post as a source of income rather than an opportunity for service delivery.

“County bosses should be people motivated by desire to serve the people but not to look for wealth. Those who look for wealth end up stealing public funds, perpetuating poverty in the society,” Gumbo said.

He suggested that county assemblies should receive their funds directly from the National Treasury.

The former MP said the current situation in which the county assembly receives money from the executive hinders their oversight roles.

“MCAs can easily be compromised because they receive funds from the executive to discharge their duties,” Gumbo added.

Governors from the region have been blamed for failing to undertake development projects which can transform livelihood of the area residents.

A few weeks ago, ODM National Chairman John Mbadi accused the governors of doing little to improve living standards of the area residents.

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