A public gathering to discuss Siaya County budget estimates 2019/2020 turned chaotic after irate residents disrupted the meeting held by the Budget committee in West Asembo ward, Rarieda sub-county.
County Assembly Budget committee members had a difficult time controlling the angry citizens who had attended the forum at Mahaya Chief’s camp on Wednesday.
The residents ordered the committee to leave the venue of the meeting, terming the exercise a waste of time.
While some frustrated residents complained that their interests were not factored in the budget, most people asked why the money meant forward development was slashed from Sh30 million to Sh10 million.
Moses Apudo, a resident from the ward said all the stalled projects must be completed before new ones are proposed.
“There is no way that new projects could be proposed in our ward yet none of those that we prioritized in the last financial year have been implemented,” he said.
Their concerns were echoed by their MCA Ambrose Akuno who vowed to reject the proposed budget in the assembly.
They, however, calmed down after more than 30 minutes of interruption and came up with a memorandum which they issued to the County Assembly’s budget committee for consideration.
The act was however condemned by some of the members of the budget committee Lorna Adida (North Sakwa) and Samwel Olasi (West Uyoma).
“Instead of interrupting the whole exercise, the residents could have found a better way of airing their grievances,” lamented Olasi.
The Budget Committee members revealed that they have also identified some of the inequalities and gaps in the document.
Adida said, “Such issues can only be addressed if members of the public took their time to scrutinize it and give proposals without interruptions.”
Earlier in West Yimbo ward, Bondo sub-county, residents registered their displeasure with the proposed Sh6.7 billion budget, saying that it was not clear on the projects that would be done in the ward.
Speaking during a pre-budget forum organized by Community Initiative Action Group Kenya (CIAG) – a non-governmental organization in Usenge town, residents proposed an increment of the ward allocation for development projects, adding that a number of projects that were initiated in the financial year 2013/14 have not been completed.
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