Today’s was the lowest turn out in Nandi Hills’ Public Participation Forum since devolution. Total of 17 members, inclusive of the “high table” officials who represented and supported the county government and its document, were seated in Nandi Hills County Hall rocked with empty chairs.
Mathew and Rotich, Nandi Hills Ward and Town Administrators respectively were together with Mr Biwott and Simion Chepkwony the ICT Director for Nandi County.
Public participation is a constitutional right for the people and an obligation on the part of the county government. Apart from the fact that public participation helps create a good relationship between the people and the government and therefore leads to a
more transparent government, there is a lot that the government can learn from the people. But things seems to be different in Nandi County where residents have lost confidence in the administration, and many attribute such forums to belong to the closest “allies” (aka sycophants) of the incumbent leadership, making the public tire for participation.
17 members of whom 95% were men cannot represent the views of the entire sub-county, and this cast failure on the part of the selfish government who cannot spend a dime to make a wide publicity, or lazy around until its too late. It is evident that the larger ward did not heard of the public participation forum neither the budget to be debated for amendments or its approval.
Arise Nandi learnt of the forum from a social media group message that was posted by one of the county’s official, inviting group members to attend in numbers. Since less than 14 locals attended (excluding county officials defending passage of the budget) mandates the county to postpone the forum until everybody in the ward becomes aware and avail themselves at the said date in future.
The previous PPF on County Finance Bill was postponed in Nandi Hills with an attendance of about 90 people. Residents termed the forum unfair due to low publicity and turnout. It was later agreed that another forum will be in 7 days, and to the shock of county, many residents flocked the hall to the full, forcing others to peep through the windows to join folks in amending the Bill. Residents had accused the county of a conspiracy to impose crazy charges and pass the Bill without the knowledge of the public.
Shame to have such a number attend a county government forum!! This county system needs an overhaul of leadership, a sweep-clean takeover!
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