The Star (Nairobi)

12 November 2012

Kenya: Councillors Criticise CDF Spending

Councillors from the Municipal Council of Mumias have criticised Mumias CDF for buying motorcycles for police officers.

Led by former mayor Rashid Omwendo, the councillors said the price of the eight motorcycles was exaggerated. They questioned the criteria used to procure one motorcycle at Sh295,000.

"We demand an audit of the CDF accounts because it seems taxpayers' money has been fraudently used" said Omwendo. He said after the President subsidised tax payment on motorcycles, the prices drastically dropped and it is wrong for the CDF committee to to have overpriced the motorcycles.

On Saturday, Western PC James ole Serian graced the handing over of the motorcycles to AP officers and regular police at the Mumias CDF office.

Matawa ward councillor Boniface Manda said instead of purchasing the motorcycles, the money would have been used to build offices for chiefs and their assistants.

He said chiefs and their assistants operate under trees and rented shops saying the Sh2.36 million spent on the bikes is enough to put up offices for all chiefs in the district.

He questioned why stakeholders and members of the community were not involved in the decision making process before settling to purchase the motorcycles for security agents.

"In line with the new constitution, taxpayers need to be incorporated in project identification where devolved funds are to be used. A clique of individuals cannot sit in a closed-door meeting and prioritize projects for the public" noted Manda.

Area MP Ben Washiali said the eight motorcycles were bought at a cost of shs 2.36 million with each one going at shs 295,000. "This project is aimed at improving the response of police to distress calls in the district" he said adding that matters of security in the area should be enhanced so that residents can enjoy peace.

He said CDF only funded the project whose procurement process was done under the District Commissioner's office. The PC said transport has remained a major challenge in curbing crime in the province and lauded the CDF committee for supporting security initiatives in the area. He cautioned the police to use the motorcycles effectively to accord the people of Mumias the required security.

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