PUBLIC PARTICIPATION

Kenyans not consulted about Huduma Namba — Kwale residents

Say the lack of involvement is is the recipe for tension in the country.

In Summary

• Forum chairman says the exercise is costing the same public that was not consulted. 

• Exercise ends in five days. 

Kwale County Dialogue Conference chairman Hemed Mwafujo at Red Cross-Mvindeni in Kwale
TWO-DAY FORUM: Kwale County Dialogue Conference chairman Hemed Mwafujo at Red Cross-Mvindeni in Kwale
Image: CHARI SUCHE

Residents of Kwale county have criticised the Huduma Namba exercise saying the public was not consulted. 

The issue came up at the two-day Kwale County Dialogue Conference held on May 7 and 8.

Chairman of the conference Hemed Mwafujo accused the national government of implementing the project without seeking public participation which "is the recipe for tension in the country".

“There was no budget for the exercise which is costing the taxpayers Sh6 billion and we are wondering where the money came from to sponsor the same,” he said.

Addressing over 100 delegates drawn across the country, Mwafujo said that there must be consultation from the national government to village level on issues touching mwananchi. 

The forum was attended by religious leaders, civil societies, women, youths, farmers, boda boda operators, the business community, fishermen and community leaders at Red cross Mvindeni. 

Issues of historical land injustices in Kwale were also raised where delegates proposed a new land survey and adjudication to be done.

“We want a county land board devolved to ease the process and legislation be put in place to avoid double adjudication,” Mwafujo said.

The delegates raised the issue of marginalisation and inequitable distribution of resources saying there should be equitable distribution to citizens without political, religious or class discrimination.

Emphasis, he said, should be placed on the marginalised, minorities and persons with disabilities.

Doctor Japhet Muthoka said Kwale county has been distributing tractors to all wards regardless of what residents prefer, which "is wrong in terms of equitable resource distribution".

“We need resources to be equitably distributed to citizens of Kwale instead of equality distribution,” Muthoka said.

The delegates also proposed an audit of devolution to be undertaken immediately to establish the status of implementation. They want steps to be taken to address the runaway corruption in counties and the national government.

“We want the county election board dissolved to pave way for new ones to avoid similar challenges that were experienced in the previous elections.  A massive voter registration programme should be undertaken by IEBC and local civil society organisations,” Mwafujo added.

The chairman said the conference proposed the upgrading of Ukunda Airstrip and for the Dongo-Kundu bypass to be opened up to expand the county’s economy, especially the tourism sector.

“We also call upon Kwale county residents to unite and make the county a better place for social, economic and political coexistence,” he said.

“While appreciating the national dialogue initiative spearheaded by President Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga, we have noted with concerns that unity of purpose cannot be achieved in the absence of integration, cohesion and reconciliation."

(Edited by R.Wamochie)