A Public participation meeting in budget making process held by the County Government in Ziwa Sub-County ended in chaos on Monday after angry residents forced it into adjournement a few minutes after it started.
Attempts to calm down the group of residents who became verbally disruptive, directing their anger towards the County Officials ,failed.
The residents demanded to be told where the 800 Kilometres road network allegedly murramed by the County Government was. They said the County Government had failed to specify the murramed roads and did not disclose it’s cost.
They further questioned drugs and medical supplies worth Kshs 40 million allegedly distributed to local hospitals by the County Government claiming there was still acute shortages in hospitals across Ziwa.
They also asked to be told the beneficiaries of the 3,000 bags of subsidized maize seeds that the County Government claimed to have distributed to poor farmers across the county, questioning why the County Government did not disclose the Cost and areas that benefitted from the subsidies.
The residents demanded immediate audience with the County Governor Jackson Mandago and area Member of County Assembly Hillary Ketter. They said they could only calm down after satisfactory explanations from the Governor on expenditures for the 2013/14 financial year.
Treasury had urged Kenyans in Counties to interrogate the Budget Policy Statement (BPS) together with the two Revenue Bills which will be availed to the public for scrutiny for purpose of sharing their views and influencing the definitive parameters within which revenue sharing will be undertaken.
Public participation in budget making process is critical as the BPS sets out the broad strategic priorities and policy goals that guide both the national government and the county government in preparing their budget for the following financial year and over the medium term.This is in line with the constitutional requirement of public participation that emphasize on citizen engagement to allow inclusiveness and transparency in the process.
According to the Treasury, article 218 of the constitution states that the Division of Revenue and County Allocation of Revenue Bills form the basis for the sharing of revenue between the two levels of governments and amongst the county governments hence should be taken seriously.