News Column

Nyeri Public Meeting On Bill Turns Chaotic

January 26, 2014

Wambugu Kanyi

A meeting between the Nyeri county assembly Finance, Planning, Budget and Appropriations Committee and the residents on Thursday turned chaotic. The residents scrambled for the few copies of the county Finance Bill draft available. The committee was seeking the public views on the bill before it is debated in the assembly. The public heckled the nine-member committee saying they had not been served with the draft bill outlining the proposed taxes, fees, charges and other sources of revenue for the county government. The meeting was held at the Provincial Information Hall in Nyeri town. The residents accused the committee of taking them for a ride for not consulting and serving them with the copies before asking for their contributions. Kimathi Estate Tenants Welfare Association secretary Godfrey Mwai said the committee did not use proper communication channels to invite the public to participate in the exercise. "The advertisement was placed in one of the local dailies but seriously, how many people read newspapers?" he said. The residents got more furious when the committee presented less than ten copies of the Bill in the meeting that was attended by more than 100 people. "You knew this is a crucial document for us and you should have made the copies according to the hall's capacity. You should give each one of us a copy to read and then set another date for our contribution," said Alex Kariuki , a resident of Kieni subcounty. He said the exercise ought to have been well prepared to ensure proper participation of everybody and to curb wrangles similar to those in other counties. Committee chairman Paul Ngiria admitted the faults and concerns raised by the residents. He assured them that the document will be circulated to the villages across the county. Ngiria gave the residents 14 days to peruse the document and submit their inputs to his office before February 10 .

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Source: AllAfrica

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