Sh21bn ward fund Bill set for debate

Monday April 16 2018

Development Equalisation Bill

Murang'a Senator Irungu Kang’ata. He has sponsored the County Wards Development Equalisation Bill, 2018. PHOTO | JOSEPH KANYI | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

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A proposed law that would unlock Sh21.8 billion funding for wards across the country inched closer to being enacted after it sailed through the First Reading in the Senate.

The Senate Finance and Budget Committee has now invited the public to give their views on the County Wards Development Equalisation Bill, 2018.

The bill aims at ensuring equity in distribution of resources.

The team will on Wednesday hold a public meeting at County Hall to collect views on the bill, a brainchild of Murang’a Senator Irungu Kang’ata.

The proposed law also seeks to promote decentralised development through a uniform development kitty for each ward to run specific, devolved projects.

To achieve this, Mr Kang’ata’s proposed law wants to establish a fund through which at least eight per cent of the annual revenue will be allocated to respective counties.

The proposal law also provides a mechanism for identification of priority projects in each ward through public participation.

“I have received a lot of support from the public and members of the county assembly.

"This is a lifetime opportunity for realisation of development at the grassroots level.

"Article 176 (2) of the Constitution says every county should decentralise its functions and services. This is what this bill intends to do,” Mr Kan’gata, who is also the Jubilee Senate deputy chief whip, said.

Senator Kang’ata, who is also the co-chairman of the devolution conference steering committee set for Kakamega this week, on Sunday said the bill has taken into account the importance of separation of powers, which has seen the Controller of Budget outlaw certain ward funds.

The draft law, if adopted, will give MCAs functional independence to oversight the county leadership without fear of their electoral areas being victimised.