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Kudos to Kajiado MCAs for knocking sense into the Executive

The MCAs had, in a rare show of unity, come together and issued the threat not to pass the Budget after they too had been denied funds, by the Executive, since March

By Kajiado Star Editorial Board

The Kajiado County Government has suffered further embarrassment after Members of County Assembly doubled down on their threat, not to pass the annual Budget.

While the threat had initially been issued over the non-payment of casuals at the Kajiado Referral Hospital, more departments have since reached out to the Assembly to come to their aid as they too haven’t been paid for some time.

At the height of the standoff, the Alais Kisota-led Finance Ministry relented and released funds to go to the Ministry of Health for the payment of casual workers, who had downed their tools after going for five months without pay.

When the other departments, which had also been suffering in silence, saw the hospital workers get paid, they reached out to the Assembly, hoping to benefit from similar intervention, thus explaining the ongoing uncertainty over the Budget Speech.

It is however, instructive to note the MCAs had, in a rare show of unity, come together and issued the threat not to pass the Budget after they too had been denied funds, by the Executive, since March.

Ordinarily, the MCAs would be divided along the Kieleweke – which locally backs Governor Lenku – and Tangatanga – which supports Katoo Ole Metito – groupings. However, dried up pockets knocked sense into them and saw them speak with one voice, for once.

Still there are three MCAs who broke ranks with the majority to stand with the Executive, but theirs amounted to a shout in the dark, as they were easily drowned out.

The three, staunch Lenku loyalists; Dalalekutuk MCA Ntaati, Nkaimurunya MCA Waichanguru and Kaputiei North rep Joshua Olouwasa, are now being considered sellouts who could not stand up for Kajiado residents, who were not receiving required services, when government departments fail to operate at optimum levels.

On the other hand, Kisota had been blaming lack of payment from the National Government, for his refusal to pay. This claim was however easily disproved by those with access to IFMIS accounts and who saw that funds from the National Government had been wired.

How else was he able to pay the hospital casuals after the MCAs turned up the heat on the Executive, asked the critics? The latest crisis has not helped Kisota, who has the unfortunate reputation of being bloody-minded, arrogant and high-handed.

The Budget impasse should perhaps serve as lesson for the Executive, which had hoped ride out the storm by banking on the divisions among MCAs. The Executive failed to realise that a hungry MCA cannot be relied upon for support.

MCAs should also not wait until they are starved of funds for them to do what they were elected to do. They should wake up to the realisation that their partisan politics, even on serious county issues, has given rise to impunity by the Executive, as exemplified by the petulant refusal to release much-needed funds.

2022 is on the horizon and voters are watching. If both the Executive and the Assembly fail to stand by Nalotuesha, they all shall be swept away by the unforgiving waves of voter anger.

For now, Kajiado Star thanks MCAs for their rare and bold bipartisan move, which has forced the Executive release the purse strings. We should see more of this.

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