Nairobi News

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Wards funding Bill awaits approval to become law

A new law that sets aside at least Sh12 million for each ward in the county has finally been passed.

The controversial Wards Development Fund Bill was passed on Tuesday during a marathon special sitting and was supported by both the Cord and Jubilee coalitions.

Governor Evans Kidero is expected to sign it into law any time from today, said Majority Leader Elais Otieno.

“We have consulted the Governor on it and he has assured us it will be signed into law once it leaves your hands,” Mr Otieno told the assembly on Tuesday evening.

Financial implications

Mr Otieno said the Executive had no problem with the new law despite initial opposition.

“They have realised it gets off their backs a lot of grassroot development initiatives. The responsibility will now be redirected to the County Reps and their management committees,” explained Mr Otieno.

The Bill moved by Umoja One County Rep Njoroge Maina seeks to have five per cent of the county’s budget set aside for distribution among her wards.

According to the latest budgetary allocations, the first year allocation would set aside Sh1.27 billion. 85 per cent of this money will be shared equally among the 85 wards, while 15 per cent will be shared according to population sizez and the poverty index.

Yesterday, Mr Maina said the new law would speed up development.

“The County Reps will only give oversight, but they are mandated to appoint the chairman of the Wards development committee. Other members will be in it to represent women, youth and other government agencies,” said Mr Maina.

Speaker Alex Ole Magelo noted the law could turn out to be the biggest and most important law in the Assembly’s first year of office.

“We are setting the trend for other counties. I am sure they will emulate this because it gives the people the power to decide how they will utilise their money,” Mr Magelo told the County Reps.