Nairobi ward representatives want the county executive to set aside at least five percent of its total annual income as Ward Development Fund (WDF).
This could see the Members of County Assembly (MCAs) control Sh505 million, which is five percent of the Sh10.1 billion internal revenue earned by the county in the last financial year.
Nairobi County Assembly Ward Development Fund committee chairperson Patricia Mutheu decried the laxity of the county government to fast track the implementation of the Fund since its passage into law in 2014.
“We want them to set aside money for WDF. This is a fund meant to do equalisation and this is what devolution means. They have never implemented this fund since 2014, but it is being budgeted for and it is even in the County Integrated Development Plan (CIDP). It is supposed to be five percent of the annual income,” said Ms Mutheu on Thursday.
The Mlango Kubwa MCA added that in the next financial year set to begin in July, they would demand at least Sh10 million for each of the 85 wards be dedicated to projects initiated by MCAs, just as the governor also has capital projects.
She accused the executive of taking them in circles since 2014, always hiding behind the office of the Controller of Budget (CoB), blaming the latter for not releasing the money.
“The law is and has always been there, but we lack goodwill. The executive keeps on talking about the CoB but I do not think that is a substantial excuse. WDF needs to be implemented across the 85 wards. Nairobi residents will expect that five percent of the annual revenue will trickle back to them,” she said.
The county legislator claimed that the executive had procured Sh700 million projects in the 2017/2018 financial year but most had stalled with Sh320 million bills still pending.
“We had projects procured through public works department at Sh700 million but christened WDF which have not been fully implemented. We need them to fast track payment of stalled projects,” she said.
MCAs Ken Obuya (Imara Daima) and Millicent Mugadi of Ziwani complained that money had been lost in the projects,saying that some were fictitious.
“I do not have any project by the name Ngara Lane project yet I can see in this list where it has been allocated Sh10 million,” said Ms Mugadi.
“There was a 2016/ 2017 project in my ward to install six high mast street lights. The project has been declared complete yet only one street light is working,” said Mr Obuya.
MCAs Mark Mugambi of Umoja One and Waithera Chege (South B) said ward representatives should have control on projects in their areas.