Today, (08/09/2015) Nandi County brought a 2015 Finance Bill to a public forum in Nandi Hills town that was held in sub county hall which residents of Nandi Hills, in unison, declined to discuss and pass the Nandi County Finance Bill owing to the following challenges;
(a); Very Short Notice Period
It was heatedly discussed that Nandi County government has created a tendency of breaking the Law of Public Participation Bill which dictates that any government budget or bill must be brought to public notice in a period of 14 days. The institutions in Nandi County, as explained by Ruto (N-Hills sub county administrator) received their invitations one week before the day of public forum, against 14-day notice required by law. Others members in the congregations cited their shortest period that they got the information, as less as two days to the event.
(b); In-house Conspiracy ~ Fewest Neutral County Residents
It was very alarming to Nandi Hills people when they learnt that more than 50% of the participants in the hall were officials in the inept government of Nandi County. When Moses Kemboi from Ministry of Gender and Sports started the meeting by asking all the members to stand and introduce themselves, participants knew the high table would obviously consist of allies and workers of the county, as usual. When it was time for the rest of participants to acquaint the house, ¾ of the house were all county workers and the extremely few residents said “NO”. This was conspired as an in-house conspiracy where the county will take many workers from their offices to public participation forum, and take pictures of the meeting then forward and pass the bill using evidence of pictures that do not reflect attendance of public members. This concern made the residents of Nandi postpone the forum until 15th September 2015. At this date, it will work according to the law of 14 days notice. Again, many residents and business people will know and participate for and against the Bill in person.
Amazingly, there were none of the town hawkers, mama mbogas, boda boda, cobblers or shoe shinners – the right people who’re directly and daily affected by the Bill. Informal sector was not represented and the voice of the people won on the final decision.
(c); Inept Government and Ministries?
The people were annoyed about the copy-paste scheme of coming up with new Fiscal Year Budgets. For example, business men and women cited bogus work in the docket concerned with Budget and Bill making, and they were annoyed of repetition of some parts of the Bill that were ironically rejected in previous year’s bills. This means that the concerned ministry and officials are repeatedly making the same mistakes over and over again, hence copy-pasting suspicion.
(d); Poor Trickle Down Effect & Publicity
Ward administrators were blamed for failing to relate to public and total failure to disseminate information. They don’t hold meetings or forums in sub-locations or village areas to transfer the information from the the County down to grassroots for public to be aware. Extremely few residents knew of today’s forum, and not many of the people are connected with WhatsApp, facebook or twitter where some may try to post the event, hours before it starts. Another failure the county officials assume, is that all the residents are connected to the internet or county’s website.
Prior impractical decision that sub-county administrator Mr Ruto hinted – that people of Nandi Hills to access the Bill on the Nandi website and forward their ammendment proposals – was heatedly refused by the public who pointed out that many are not aware of it, and cannot access internet on the villages.
(e); Ridiculous Amount Allocations
Although the Bill was not discussed, after the short meeting the residents met in groups to view and discuss the new bill on the allocated charges, duties or levies for various requirements – like Single business licensing, Land Rates, Parking Fees, Market fees, Burial, Slaughter, Hiring county resources, impounding, declamping, health services fees and more, were shocked to read regional imbalance and expensive charges.
Some parts contain expensive in Nandi Hills and other sub counties like Kaptumo, Maraba and Tindiret like its evident on septic tanks exhausters yet N-Hills have their own and will not be hired from Kapsabet.
Land rates became an issue, as well as declamping fees where its cheaper in Eldoret but its allocated a lot in Nandi Hills… among others.
(f); Lack of Civic Education to County People
Many people in Nandi lack the knowledge of their constitutional rights and roles of their citizenship.
(g); Public Participation Forum Postponed!
It will be heard and discussed in detail on Tuesday 15th on the same venue from 9:00 in the morning.
Arise Nandi – the county’s most popular initiative calls the people of Nandi Hills, young and old, hawkers, mama mbogas, cobblers, and the entire business fraternity to attend the forum on Tuesday 15, to suggest amendments or pass the Finance Bill that will become law governing each and every activity (including slaughtering a chiken or selling eggs) and businesses in the county.