Plan to hold city MCAs’ retreat in Coast dropped
A week-long induction for Nairobi members of the county assembly that was set to be held in Mombasa this week was cancelled by Speaker Beatrice Elachi.
Ms Elachi argued that it beat logic for the 122 members to have travelled to Mombasa last Sunday to learn the basics of the chamber and its proceedings in a hotel yet they would be carrying out business at City Hall.
“I felt it was practical for the members to do it here at the chambers since, basically, they were to be taught how to enter, and how to use the systems and electronic machines,” said Ms Elachi.
Following the change of plans, the induction has been going on at City Hall.
“Our staff are the ones inducting the MCAs,” she said.
Ms Elachi, who spoke at her office at City Hall, said the MCAs will spend a few days in Naivasha to bond and learn about devolution before the end of the week.
She said the MCAs have also been lobbying for inclusion in the various committees ahead of the opening of the House by Governor Mike Sonko.
The governor has 21 days to convene the assembly after the swearing-in of the leaders. He is expected to do so in two weeks.
Ms Elachi said she had encouraged the MCAs to join committees they are comfortable with.
“I have called upon the members to form inclusive committees they feel they can participate in freely and be passionate about,” said Ms Elachi.
The assembly will have a busy schedule when it convenes, with the leaders having to pass the Appropriation Bill that will authorise the governor to withdraw cash for development projects.
The members are also expected to amend the Finance Act, which determines the rates paid by residents.
This will be done in a bid to realise Mr Sonko’s vision to lower some fees in accordance with his campaign promises.
The former assembly did not pass the Appropriation Bill procedurally. As a result, the county’s 2017/2018 budget of Sh35.9 billion was rendered null and void.
The county has been operating on a vote-on-account basis, which allows the governor to withdraw only up to half of the amount budgeted for during the year.