Fury as Kakamega MCAs blow Sh10 million on Mombasa trip

Kakamega Assembly in a past session. the MCAs are in Mombasa for an induction trip to the tune of sh10 million.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

A week-long induction workshop for Kakamega County MCAs will cost more than Sh10 million even as Governor Fernandes Barasa called for prudent financial management at the assembly.

The MCAs arrived in Mombasa on Sunday and will wind up their five-day training on Friday.

Each was paid a daily allowance of Sh14,000 for five days, which amounts to Sh6.2 million.

Allowances for staff and payments to consultants hired to facilitate the training, in addition to other logistical needs, are expected to increase the expenses.

Each staffer will receive between Sh12,000 and 14,000 per day, depending on their job groups.

Mr Barasa called on the County Assembly Public Service Board to urgently review the organisational structure of the House to turn around its poor performance.

Addressing MCAs in Mombasa, Governor Barasa lamented financial mismanagement in the assembly.

He noted that the House had rent arrears for offices at the IG building in Kakamega amounting to Sh19 million and rent for the Speaker’s residence had not been paid for the last five years.

He also cited conflict of interest in the procurement of goods and services for the assembly, with ward reps and assembly staffers the main suppliers.

“Such open graft cases must be dealt with in accordance with the laws of the land where those found culpable [should] be arraigned in court to answer to charges of corruption. This should be a lesson to other individuals with similar motives,” he said.

He added that the assembly’s oversight, legislation and representation roles should not be compromised. He urged “timely remittance of all statutory obligations” and proper use of money.

He said he was disappointed with the past performance of the county assembly.

Dismal performance

The Kakamega County Assembly is ranked 46th out of 47 in performance.

The governor outlined his development agenda for the county and urged MCAs to focus on improving services for residents and fighting corruption in the assembly.

He said he will focus on equitable distribution of resources and development projects and challenged MCAs to play their role effectively.

Mr Barasa also called for an audit of the workforce in the assembly with the goal of improving performance.

The second assembly was rocked by fights and disagreement among MCAs and the executive, undermining key development projects, including construction of new assembly chambers.

But Governor Barasa has pledged to work closely with MCAs and ensure the new building is built. He promised to give priority to the Sh20 million Ward Development Fund, car loans and mortgages ward reps.

“In order for us to achieve our sole mandate of serving the people with equitable distribution of resources and development projects across the county, we must henceforth unanimously agree to bury our political differences and focus on quality service delivery to wananchi,” Mr Barasa said.

At the meeting, Governor Barasa announced that MCAs had by consensus picked Mr Philip Maina as majority leader and Mr David Ndakwa as minority leader.

On the majority side, Ms Gladys Omukongolo is the chief whip. Mr Elphas Shilosio will be a member of the County Assembly Public Service Board and Mr Brian Mafunga will chair roads committee.

MCAs are now expected to pick leaders and members of assembly committees.

Governor Barasa challenged MCAs to ensure regional balance in selections for committees.