Civil society organisations in Siaya are accusing the local county assembly of usurping the roles of the executive hence compromising its ability to oversight and ensure that the citizens get quality services from the devolved government.

According the CSOs, the dalliance between the assembly and the executive has seen the law making organ get millions of shillings on development vote to undertake programs that should be done by the later.

Addressing a press conference in Siaya town, the CSOs through their umbrella body, Siaya county civil society network cited an example where the county assembly has been allocated over Ksh. 189 million for development, far more than the department of tourism, culture, sports and arts budget of Ksh. 179 million.

In a statement read by Hillary Omondi and Vincent Obondo, the CSOs accused the executive, led by Governor James Orengo of surrendering their roles to the members of the county assembly who, they added, were determining the projects to be undertaken in their wards and even identifying the contractors.

“The assembly of Siaya is getting into the roles of the executive instead of sticking to their oversight, legislation and representation roles” said the statement adding “This jeopardies the ability of the county assembly of Siaya to ensure better services to the people of Siaya”.

Community Initiative Action Group (CIAG) chief executive officer, Chris Owala said that the assembly has over the years bulldozed the executive to yield to its demands to encroach its mandate, giving example of several projects that it implemented instead of surrendering the responsibility and money to the executive.

Owala cited the construction of ward offices at a cost of Ksh. 160 million, construction of halls in several wards at Ksh. 154 million and geo planning for water and drilling of boreholes at a cost of Ksh. 125 million, adding that these were the roles that would have been effectively undertaken by the executive.

They accused the county government of failing to engage the public effectively in the budget preparation process, adding that it was ridiculous to accord each ward only two hours of public engagement over the process.

“The county government of Siaya is not complying with the available legislations and laws guiding public participation. Engagement should start at the sector level and this should include stakeholders scaling down to the ward and village level” said the CSO representatives.

On the ongoing recruitment of staff, the civil society lamented that the exercise lacked transparency, accusing the county public service board of secretly calling the well connected to pick appointment letters.

They said that the opaqueness in the operations of the board was promoting impunity and nepotism and has made most Siaya residents to lose trust in their government.

The Siaya county civil society network comprises non-governmental organizations, community based organizations, trusts and Foundations working in the six constituencies of Siaya.

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