- The MCAs have however promised to put in place necessary legislations to help the governor achieve his agenda
By Erick Ludeya
Nairobi Members of County Assembly have raised mixed reactions on the speech delivered by Governor Sakaja in his first address to the assembly last week.
A section of the legislators have questioned some of the pledges made while some praised the governor for showing good intention in his development agenda.
Some of the proposals the MCAs claim will not be easy to implement without proper consultations and legislation include the School feeding program, implementation of the Ward Development Fund, introduction of a Single QR-enabled permit and strategies to improve on revenue collection
Despite the concerns, the MCAs have hailed the governor for being bold enough in his pledges but promised to spearhead necessary legislation to help him achieve his agenda.
Nominated MCA Fathya Abdullahi Mohamed(ODM) said that the county needs to conduct and establish a reliable database on its revenue sources like parking spaces and have a proper baseline number that will help in analyzing revenue collection trends.
“ Our revenue collection has staggered for long and what the county needs to do is have a serious database on revenue sources in all the wards,”
She also called for development of a proper fiscal policy that will outline prudent and disciplined use of county resources.
The MCA also said that the executive and the assembly will have to work on how to operationalize the Ward Development Fund.
“ The Controller of Budget has previously raised operational challenges in regard to the WDF and this will need to be solved quickly,”
The CoG in 2014 issued guidelines on the implementation and operationalization of the fund. In the guidelines but most counties are yet to effect it.
First, a county entity or a relevant department identifies the need to establish the Ward Development Fund. It forwards this proposal to the County Executive Member for Finance. The County Executive Member for Finance then submits the proposal to the County Executive Committee for approval.
When the County Executive Committee approves the proposal, the County Executive Member for Finance will then draft a County Bill or County Regulations. The Bill or the Regulations will establish and operationalize the Ward Development Fund.
The County Executive Member for Finance will then submit the Ward Development Fund Bill or Regulations to the County Assembly for approval. Once the County Assembly approves the Ward Development Fund Bill, the Governor assents to the Bill. The County Government then publishes the Bill in the Kenya Gazette.
In Nairobi, the bill is already in place but yet to be implemented.
The MCA also called on the governor to ensure that the School feeding programme that will be adopted by the county is not a duplicate of what the national government is planning to do.
Kariobangi South MCA Robert Mbatia said that the county should push for the transfer of primary school education from the national government.
“ It is possible because the law allows for the transfer of function between the two governments as long as this can be proved beyond reasonable doubt,”
On the governor’s proposal to introduce a single QR-enabled permit,Mbatia said that the move could end up being more punitive to businesses if not handled well.
“ It is going to be a tall order because it is the same businessmen and women who are going to pay for this unified permit,”
Mbatia said that what the county should do is focus more on decentralizing services to the sub-county level or the proposed boroughs.
In his manifesto, Mr Sakaja committed to introduce an electronic unified single business permit and instant online license renewal.
Currently, several permits are required, including county business permits, fire inspection certificates, food handler certificates, food hygiene, goodwill, and land rates.
Mbatia also advised the governor to focus on mapping all businesses if he wants to improve on the current revenue collection,”
“ Currently we have 150,000 registered businesses yet the CBD and its environs has almost the same number which means most businesses are not paying tax,”
Some of the MCAs praised the governor for creating the hustler docket as well as the liaison office that will harmonise operations between the executive and the assembly.