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Friday, August 18, 2017

We performed below par, say Garissa MCAs

Garissa Governor Nathif Jama (centre, in coat and tie) poses for a group photo with county assembly members during the opening ceremony on April 22, 2013 /STEPHEN ASTARIKO
Garissa Governor Nathif Jama (centre, in coat and tie) poses for a group photo with county assembly members during the opening ceremony on April 22, 2013 /STEPHEN ASTARIKO

In a country where elected leaders rarely take the blame, some Garissa MCAs have admitted that they underperformed during their tenure.

Those who spoke to the Star in confidence and others willing to be quoted blamed poor leadership, ethnic division and low levels of education as the causes of poor performance in the House.

Ijara MCA Mohamed Abdullahi admitted that the House did not make any substantive legislation that impacted positively on the lives of residents.

Some members had difficulty in deliberating on issues of concern because of their low levels of education, he said.

“We may be quick to blame the House for doing little in terms of oversight and legislation, but I want to blame this on the ethnic division that was deep rooted. It impacted negatively on our work,” Abdullahi said.

“The speaker was partisan. He took advantage of the ethnic divide to run the House. He also used it to protect his selfish interests.”

Holugho MCA Mohamed Aden confessed that the assembly had no record to defend, noting that it performed below average in legislation. He, however, said the members performed well in representation.

The House was made up of 48 MCAs, 30 of whom were elected and 18 nominated.

In terms of clans, the Auliyan had 13 elected, Abduwak 11, Abdalla five and the Degodia one. Auliyan had the most nominated members.

Deputy speaker Abubakar Shide said it was unfortunate that very few Bills were passed by the assembly.

Budgetary constrains made it impossible for them to perform, he said.

“The Commission for Revenue Allocation colluded with the Council of Governors to give assemblies a lean budget. We got our salaries, mileage and sitting allowance but no allocation for house committees business to tour projects undertaken by the executive. This is how our oversight role was undermined,” Shide said.

Speaker Mohamed Abbey defended the House, saying it had done “fairly good under the circumstances”.

He denied he was partisan and said he did his best to lead the House, despite the problems he encountered.

“I have never been partisan. What members want to do was sometimes radical or unlawful. What was I supposed to do as the speaker? Of course I had to go against that. My guidance and resistance to things that are unlawful were always deemed as being partisan,” Abbey said.

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