Raila Odinga faults MPs, MCAs over allowances

Wednesday July 10 2019

ODM leader Raila Odinga addresses the press at Capitol Hill in Nairobi on July 10, 2019. PHOTO | POOL


ODM leader Raila Odinga has faulted lawmakers and ward reps inclination to leave their counties and going to perform their duties in other counties in order to earn allowances.

He said this penchant contributes in denying the citizens benefits that devolution was intended for.

Mr Odinga, at the same time, warned that if there is no seeming solution to the budget impasse at the Taita Taveta County Assembly, then there will be no choice but to go for an election.

Mr Odinga, who spoke at his office, said that negotiation must first be sought to find the solution between the warring parties in Taita Taveta.

“The MCAs and the governor should first seek dialogue to address this issue affecting the county. If the leaders cannot sit down and dialogue, then an election would be the only viable solution to the stalemate,” Mr Odinga said.

Taita Taveta Governor Granton Samboja had already signed a memorandum to dissolve the county government in a move prompted by wrangles over Sh830 million that the members of the county assembly allocated themselves through the Ward Development Fund.


The county assembly, last week also passed a Sh5.3 billion budget and each MCA allocated themselves Sh41.5 million for projects in their wards resulting in wrangles between the executive and the county assembly, which the governor said were adversely affecting the county’s development.

The legislature, Mr Odinga said, does not have the role of execution and if MPs wanted to execute projects in their constituencies and the members of the county assemblies also want to execute projects in their wards, what will the role of the executive be?

And who, he sought to know, will do the oversight since it is the function of the MCAs to oversight?

Mr Odinga pointed out that the legislators' role in general is representation, legislation and overseeing.

It is not their work to execute as this amounts to conflict of interest since there will be no one to do the oversight role, which is why the Government wants to see this abuse stopped.

And faulting the counties’ grassroots leaderships, the ODM leader said they are denying wananchi the development for which devolution was intended.

“Why should MCAs from Taita Taveta, Kisumu, or Kakamega, go to Naivasha, Nairobi, or Eldoret to do their duties in these counties? A lot of money sent to the ground for devolution does not go for development as was intended; 70 percent of the devolution funds goes for consumption and recurrent expenditures. Only 30 percent or even less, goes for development,” he said.