By Assembly Communication Team
The County Assembly of Bungoma joint committees of Public Administration and ICT, Health and sanitation have strongly opposed a decision by the County Executive to initiate new development projects before completion of the ongoing construction of a 300 bed capacity maternity wing at Bungoma referral hospital.
The Word Bank under the Kenya Devolution Support Programme (KDSP) is sponsoring the projects.
The County Government has initiated three new projects at a cost of Sh112 million which is against a resolution by the County Assembly on the use of KDSP funds.
The new projects are a Sh65 million 100 bed maternity wing at Bumula Sub County hospital.
A 30 bed capacity maternity wing and a morgue estimated to cost Sh27 million at Naitiri sub County hospital.
Construction of phase 1 MTC Administration block at Mt. Elgon at a cost of Sh20 million.
In a meeting with the Chief Officer in the Office of the County Secretary Dr. Chris Nyongesa, the chairman of the Public Administration committee Hon. Majimbo Okumu indicated that it is an illegality for the County Executive to disregard a resolution of the County Assembly on the use of KDSP funds.
“The County Assembly rejected the new projects and instead directed that the money be utilized in the completion of the maternity wing,” said Majimbo.
The 300 bed maternity wing is being put up at a cost of Sh212 million which is a grant from the Word Bank under the KDSP.
It is yet to be equipped and handed over the Department of Health.
The Chief Officer in an explanation that was rejected by the committee indicated that it is up to the Department of Health to equip the facility after completion of construction.
The members however pointed out that no money had been included in the budget under the Department of Health for equipping the facility.
“The County Fiscal Strategy Paper has no allocation for equipping the maternity wing,” said Majimbo.
The committee members wondered why the County keeps on initiating new projects before completion of ongoing ones.
“We shall have many white elephants in the name of projects. We need to complete the 300 bed capacity maternity wing before we begin any new project. It must be fully equipped and operational,” said Joseph Nyongesa, the Majority Leader.
Stephen Wamalwa pointed out that resolutions of the House must be respected at all times.
“We can’t have House Resolutions being disregarded by the Executive. We never approved the initiation of the new projects,” said Wamalwa.
The committee resolved to write to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations, the Ministry of Devolution and other government agencies to investigate the matter and bring perpetrators to book.