Governor Wycliffe Oparanya, MCAs clash over office
Kennedy Okwach and Alex Wakhisi
| May 20th 2015 | 2 min read
Members of Kakamega County Assembly are demanding an explanation from the executive over Sh500 million approved for the construction of a new county headquarters.
But Governor Wycliffe Oparanya said although the assembly approved Sh150 million and not Sh500 million for the project in the 2014/2015 budget, the money was never allocated.
"It is one thing to have a project budget approved and another to allocate funds to the same. When I came into the office, roads were in a bad state, healthcare was in shambles and quite a number of other things were not running well and needed to be fixed," said Oparanya.
But the adamant MCAs, who include Minority Leader Titus Kwoma, now want the executive to vacate the current office, saying it should host the county assembly.
"We will move to court seeking to obtain orders to ensure the executive vacates the assembly buildings. The assembly allocated enough money for construction of his office," said Mr Kwoma.
But Oparanya dismissed the MCAs calls, saying construction of a new office was not part of his administration's priorities.
"I commute from my house which is 65 kilometres away and we will use the available offices for the time being as we seek for more funds. Governors office or residence is not part of my priorities at the moment," said Oparanya
Oparanya said the executive had projected to raise Sh2 billion from taxes and other levies and channel part of it to the project, but only collected 6 million.
"We have had to scale down on the number of projects we are undertaking due to lack of funds," he said.
But Kwoma said MCAs lack offices to work from, saying this had affected their work as the current assembly is too small to accommodate all 87 ward representatives.
"We are forced to work from our cars and hotels while serving our constituents.
This has slowed down our work and is increasingly tarnishing our image," he said, adding that the executive had also refused to construct offices for them.
"Construction of new assembly will cost sh400 million, but the executive has allocated only Sh100 million," the minority leader said.
At the same time, plans are underway for Kakamega County to vote for one presidential candidate in 2017 General Election.
During a closed door meeting held in Naivasha bringing together all the 12 MPs from the county which Governor Oparanya also attended, it was resolved that the region rallies behind one candidate in the next polls.
Navakholo MP Emmanuel Wangwe, however, said they met to discuss development matters.
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