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"WE'VE HAD ENOUGH"

Budget forum aborts as residents chase away assembly staff

Claim they are being used as rubber stamps.

In Summary

• Locals turned wild shortly after the assembly’s staff began their presentations at Joska Market in Muthwani ward on Wednesday.

• Domnic Musyoka, a clerk, was shouted down when he attempted to silence the agitated residents. 

Machakos county assembly staff at the public forum at Joska market in Muthwani ward on Wednesday.
Machakos county assembly staff at the public forum at Joska market in Muthwani ward on Wednesday.
Image: GEORGE OWITI

A public participation forum for the Machakos County Assembly's budget proposals aborted yesterday after residents chased away staff conducting the meeting. 

Locals turned wild shortly after the assembly’s staff began their presentations at Joska Market in Muthwani ward on Wednesday.

“We help people to allocate money into their own pockets. Money is allocated to the ward but no development. For today, No. We are sorry we are not going to do this business,” shouted their spokesman Dominic Seme.

 Domnic Musyoka, a clerk, was shouted down when he attempted to silence the agitated residents. 

The terrified Musyoka ran into his car that was parked a few metres from the meeting venue and sped off. The other staff also left the venue in a huff. 

Nominated MCA Hellen Ndeti (Wiper) and her Muungano party counterpart Nyawira left shortly afterwards.

Area MCA George King’ori tried to calm the residents down for the exercise to proceed but they declined.

As King’ori left, the charged locals maintained that they will not be intimidated or cowed since they are Machakos residents and remit taxes.

Residents claimed that the assembly staffers use them as rubber stamps to pass budgets which are never implemented.

Seme said the ward has been neglected since devolution took effect in 2013, though it is the largest in Mavoko sub-county and remits the highest revenue to Machakos government especially from quarries.

The locals threatened to march to Governor Alfred Mutua’s office to demand answers on where the ward’s allocations go each financial year.

“This is why we are bitter as residents. Do not push us to the extent that we are forced to take the law into our own hands,” Seme said.

“Our roads are impassible, no ECD classrooms, no water, nothing,” Seme said.