Lobby rejects bill on creation of city boards

Seth Onyango @SethManex

Stakeholders have opposed a bill seeking to create city and municipality boards saying it will cause immense financial bleeding in counties’ development revenues. According to the Institute for Social Accountability, Urban Areas and Cities (Amendment) Bill, 2017 is too costly for counties to implement.

It argues that salaries and allowance for members of the city and municipality boards are likely to inflate the already bloated wage bill of most county governments. Appearing in the Senate Committee on Devolution, the Institute for Social Accountability (ISA) national coordinator Wanjiru Gikonyo argued counties do not have funds to implement the bill.

“If this bill is passed as it is, it will be impossible for counties to implement because it is too expensive, it will be inefficient and an additional burden on county’s wage bill,” she cautioned. Gikonyo opposed the bill arguing it is not in touch with the realities of the counties.

“When it was crafted who knew what devolution will look like? so there was a lot of borrowing from practices from outside,” she said, adding; “Now, we already have an electoral representative structure that is in place all the way to the county assembly, in fact they say we are over represented and that has a financial bearing on the available money for development.”

ISA wants the bill instead be returned to expert stakeholders for their input in a bid to avert possible financial meltdown. New amendments seek to establish new structure and management of cities and municipalities, where there will be a City Board and Municipality Board.

Members of the city board will include County Executive Committee Member for cities and urban area and six members who are competitively appointed by the governor and approved by the County Assembly.

It will also have four members nominated by an umbrella body representing professional associations in the area, a representative of private sector in the area, a cluster representing registered associations in the informal sector in the area and a cluster representing registered neighbourhood associations in the area.

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