The county assembly of Kakamega recently reverted the Sh35 million budget expenditure it had reallocated for shelter improvement program back to sports as requested by Governor Wycliffe Oparanya. During a special session in which opposition members staged a mass walkout, the assembly approved the Sh35 million as salary payment for footballers from the county. Another Sh90 million which the assembly had shifted from farm inputs subsidies fund was equally restored as demanded by the governor in a memorandum to the assembly last week. Minority leader David Ndakwa opposed the changes arguing that the money should assist families displaced by floods to reconstruct their homes. “We should not be here if our opinion doesn’t count,” he said.
The governor last week vetoed the reallocation of Sh90 million from the farm input subsidy program vote head and a further Sh35 from sports program by the assembly rejected the budget and appropriation bill and referred the report back for reconsideration. The report was tabled by budget committee chairman Willis Opuka where a select group of MCAs numbering 24, was allowed into the chamber. The leader of the majority was mandated to pick six MCAs from the minority side and 18 MCAs from the majority side. Deputy speaker Soita Kasaya was splashed with water as he declared the results. Supporting the changes, Opuka said the assembly veto was an oversight.
The assembly cut the agriculture vote by Sh90 million and shifted Sh20 million from the vote towards the purchase of the Hansard equipment. MCAs had shifted Sh35 million under sports fund towards shelter improvement programs to assist families displaced by floods. Bunge La Haki pressure group chairman Boniface Manda immediately termed the assembly as a tool used by Oparanya as a rubber stamp. “They are insisting on paying for fertilizer and other farm inputs because they were supplied by a member of the Oparanya family. This is sad,” he said. Speaking to the Weekly Citizen in Mumias, Manda said Oparanya is taking advantage of MCAs to misuse them adding that this will not help.