A section of Meru residents have threatened to sue the county government for failure to conduct public participation forums in Tigania West.
In a letter addressed to Governor Kiraitu Murungi, the residents led by Ms Helen Kamencu and Mr Harrison Mitheka have faulted the Meru County Assembly over public participation meetings held on June 13 and June 14 to discuss the Meru County Finance Bill, 2019 and Budget Estimates 2019-2020.
“Section 115 Sub-Section 1 of the County Governments Act (CGA-2012) spells out that public participation in the county planning processes shall be mandatory… It is therefore the duty and responsibility of the governor under Section 30 Sub-Section 3(g) of the County Public Participation Guidelines to promote and facilitate citizen participation in the development of policies and plans, and delivery of services in the county,” the letter reads.
The MCAs are on the spot for publishing a report indicating that 23 members of the budget committee attended a public participation meeting in Urru, yet they were not there.
The residents accused the county assembly officials of not turning up for the June 13 meeting and arriving late in the evening for the June 14 meeting.
“When they arrived for the meeting of June 14, 2019, they lied that they were at Urru the previous day. This could not be so since we were at the venue the whole day and only chiefs had a meeting on the upcoming census exercise,” the letter further states.
They said despite requesting for another meeting to discuss the vital county documents, their request was not honoured.
“Kindly take notice that unless this letter is acted upon within 14 days we shall have no option but to seek legal redress,” the residents said.
A report of the Meru budget estimates 2019-2020 presented to the assembly indicates that residents who attended the public participation forum on June 14 requested for more time to go through the documents.
Speaking to the Nation Ms Kamencu said they would also be writing to the Meru County Assembly Speaker to demand action against members of the committees involved.
She said that the public participation meeting held on June 13 never happened as assembly officers took signatures from chiefs who were at the sub-county headquarters for census training.
“It is shocking to learn that MCAs have indicated that they attended the meetings yet none came. This is a confirmation that we are led by a kleptocracy that will not stop at anything to pocket any coin available. The resolve to take legal action is now much stronger,” Ms Kamencu said.
Records from the June 14 budget estimates public participation meeting in Urru indicate that 23 members of the county budget and appropriations committee were present.
But Mr Mitheka said the meeting was led by committee clerks and ward administrators from Tigania West.
This comes even after the Meru assembly lashed out at the executive for failing to conduct public participation for the 2019-2020 budget estimates.
Budget and Appropriations Committee Chairman Julius Mbijiwe accused the executive of breaching the Public Finance Management Act.