Senate candidate vows to hold County government accountable over use of devolved funds

Lamu Amani National Congress Senate candidate Mohammed Hashim has pledged to ensure that the county government exercised equitable distribution of funds across the county once elected.

The veteran politician who spoke to KNA Saturday in Lamu Island critiqued the incumbent Senator Abu Chiaba whose tenure he termed as lacklustre.

The incumbent senator has been marked as being detached from Lamu residents. Chiaba is rarely in Lamu and thus does not know what ails Lamu County, Hashim stated.

The former Lamu East MP described Chiaba’s term as remote controlled claiming that the incumbent could sometimes go missing from the county for as long as six months.

It is the job of the senator to ensure that not only are funds properly used across the county, but also that none of the funds go back to treasury which has sometimes been the case, Hashim said.

Lamu County is among six of the most notorious counties in which funds have consistently been returned to the County revenue fund for reallocation.

In 2016, the county was on the list of counties alongside Makueni, Machakos, Kilifi, Trans Nzoia and Nakuru that failed to use half of monies allocated from treasury.

He stated that the incumbent had played a poor oversight role in ensuring that the county government ensured that projects and funds were equitably distributed across the county.

Although we are in the same party with the sitting governor Issa Timamy, I will ensure that his administration is held accountable by the Lamu senate office which has the mandate to ascertain that everyone in Lamu regardless of tribe or religious affiliation benefits from the fruits of devolution, Hashim stated.

The County Assembly Speaker said that despite his close relation with the incumbent governor, he would still point out creeping problems as they arose as he was not afraid to differ with Timamy on principle.

He further stated that his present experience as Speaker had enabled him to know the areas and specifically the wards that were in dire need of funding.

Lamu is undergoing a transformative period in which its politics and economics is changing and with that, there are bound to arise issues of accountability, which I am well prepared to point out if and when I notice that we as a county are moving in the wrong direction, Hashim stated.

He however lamented that the national government had failed Lamu County, with works on the Lamu-Witu road yet to start despite the contractor being on the ground.

The road network has to be improved if we are to take the Lapsset project seriously, Hashim said.

He pointed out that the poor road network was a sign of marginalization of Lamu County and expressed his dismay over the lack of progress on the road network.

The access roads in Lamu cannot be made by a county government without works on the main highway being completed and this is the challenge for transporters, travelers and investors alike, the former Trade Assistant Minister stated.

He said that currently, insecurity was working against increased investment in infrastructure and urged the County Commissioner to bolster security within the county saying if left unresolved, it was likely to affect Lamu’s socio-economic growth.

Source: Kenya News Agency