Isiolo residents walk out of exercise over poor representation

Osman Dima participates during public validation exercise for County Finance Bill 2019 at Isiolo town Catholic church social hall on November 25, 2019. Residents decried lack of enough representation and time to interrogate the document, calling for a fresh exercise. PHOTO |WAWERU WAIRIMU | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By Waweru Wairimu ~ Credit ” Daily Nation”

Residents of Isiolo Sub-County on Monday walked out of a public validation exercise for County Finance Bill 2019 over lack of enough representation and ample time to interrogate the document.

The irate locals complained that carrying out the exercise at Sub-County level was unconstitutional and denied residents their right to be heard.

“I am shocked because there is no enough representation of business people at the forum and the few of us cannot represent the entire business community,” Ms Sabina Alonya said before leaving the Isiolo town Catholic social hall.

About 50 residents drawn from Bulapesa, Wabera, Oldonyiro, Burat and Ngaremara wards in the Sub-County attended the event that was cut short after some of them demanded bus fare refund.

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The Assembly team carrying out the exercise directed residents to tender written submissions via email within 24 hours for consideration.

Michael Loramat termed the County Assembly’s decision to hold the session in Isiolo town as a scheme to ensure that the document was passed without any resistance.

UNFAIR EXERCISE

“How can 50 people represent views for residents from five wards?” he posed while demanding a fresh exercise at the ward level.

Ibrahim Wako of Isiolo Human Rights Defenders said the Constitution required that the exercise be done at village and ward level before proceeding to Sub-Counties and County level.

“It will be unfair if the document is passed without collecting diverse views from across the county,” said Mr Wako adding that residents were notified of the exercise two days earlier instead of one week in advance as required by law.

The lobby last month petitioned the County Assembly demanded changes in how public participation exercises are conducted.

Isiolo Majority Leader Isack Fayo dismissed claims of late notice of the exercise noting that the information had been widely shared on local media channels.

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“I am impressed with the representation we have and we will ensure that all your recommendations are included before tabling the document in the House,” the Kinna ward MCA said.

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