By Nep Journal Correspondent:
The county government of Mandera is on the spot light once again after failing to disburse bursary to needy students for the second financial year in a row despite passage of three crucial bills by the county assembly namely the bursary bill, SME fund bill as well as the youth empowerment fund.
In an exclusive interview with Nep Journal, nominated Mandera County Assembly (MCA) Jimaldin Adan Ahmed took issue with the county administration for shelving the bills and failing to release allocated funds.
“In Mandera County no bursary funds have been disbursed since devolution has started and up to now needy and desperate students are still waiting for county bursary funds to support them through their secondary and higher education. It is now the third financial year and there has been no cent from the county bursary funds that have been given to the poor, needy and desperate students from Mandera County” confirmed the youthful MCA.
Upto Kshs 120million was set aside for the bursary fund but it was not clear whether the funds were diverted to ‘other projects’ since no cent has made its way to the bank accounts of educational institutions.
Education is however not the only affected sector as funds meant to spur economic growth in the county through empowerment of small and medium enterprises have also not been released as passed by the County Assembly.
A section of youth and women contacted by Nepjournal confirmed receiving no cent from the SME Funds which was meant to empower Mandera County youths and women and to support startups and SME’s with seed capitals.
Another bill tabled by nominated Jimaldin Adan Ahmed which sought to set aside Khs 500 million for youth and women business empowerment programs was yet to see the light of day despite approval by the assembly.
The MCA expressed frustration at the administration’s non-committal attitude towards crucial legislation by the house saying this was condemning area residents to further marginalization, three years into devolution.
“Before devolution started we the people of Mandera County used to complain a lot about marginalization, sidelining by successive regimes and under-development because we all thought that the administration in Nairobi used to deny us our shares of the national cake” said Jimaldin.
“But now after even things have changed where a new system of devolved governance where public funds are shared equitably for grassroots development, still our people of Mandera County are marginalized, under developed and feeling much more sidelined in their own governance systems and this is a big shame for the Northern Kenya counties that are behind the rest of Kenya” he added.
Jamaldin now wants the Mandera County government to release all these funds immediately as there was no reason for further delay.
The MCA said youth will have no option but to explore alternative mechanisms of getting their fair share of the county resources if the administration does not act on the delays.
A legal tussle in the corridors of justice could be in the offing.