Trouble has erupted between youths in Nambale Sub- County’s Bukhayo Central ward and its administrator Pacilisa Barasa over the implementation of multi-million shillings projects
and parliamentary candidature of her husband.
The differences between the two came to the fore recently when the youths led by one Eric ‘Stano’ Otieno went public querying how the monies released to the Bukhayo Central Ward Development Fund by the Busia County Government had been used when there was virtually nothing for show.
This state of affairs degenerated into a showdown when the youth went further to criticize the suitability of Pacilisa’s husband Chris Barasa to vie for the Nambale constituency parliamentary seat in the forthcoming general elections next year.
The situation has become so bad that Pacilia has threatened to have the youths arrested by the police without indicating what crimes they had committed through their criticism of her performance as ward administrator and the candidature of husband who is a church pastor in Botswana.
Now the youths are demanding that the Busia County Governor Sospeter Ojaamong must immediately intervene to conduct a thorough forensic audit of the ward’s Development Fund with a view of taking immediate remedial and legal actions against any persons to have been involved pilfering of the fund’s cash.
According to the youth’s representative Stano the Bukhayo central ward administrator is planning to arrest Bukhayo central youths namely, Vincent Ade Teacha, Keigh Makwatta Dennis Odhiambo, Kellan Natasha and more including himself for failing to support her husband’s candidature and questioning her work performance.
Stano said: “Most of youths said have openly criticized Chris Barasa the husband to Pacilisa as having no leadership qualities to represent Nambale constituency in the parliament.”
One of the cronies of Madam Pacilisa Barasa , Peter Odisa while speaking to one of the youths said “no one is allowed to criticize the ward administrator since no one in Bukhayo central can do the work she is doing better than her”.
On the other hand Odisa is quoted as having declared: “Nyinyi ni vijana wadogo sana kama Madam alifuja pesa zilikuwa zenu.” You are too young fellows, if Madam misappropriated money, was it yours? Asked Odisa.
The youths raised eyebrows after realising that the office of the ward administrator is not operating according to the guidelines of the Ward Development Fund which include the role of the Members of the County Assembly (MCAs) and residents – where the Constitution requires clear separation of powers between implementation and oversight.
The MCAs shall play a role of mobilizing the residents of each Ward to identify priority projects for each financial year. In identifying these projects, public participation is critical.
The aggrieved youths also claim that they also established that the County Executive shall formulate the Bill or Regulations to operationalize and administrate the Ward Development Fund.
The Ward Development Fund shall only come into operation upon approval of the Bill or Regulations by the County Assembly and only the County Executive shall manage the Fund and Implement projects and programmes financed by the Fund.
In the principle of separation of powers, MCAs shall not take part in this function. Public participation is critical. County residents should identify priority projects that the Ward Development Fund should finance.
The MCAs shall monitor and play oversight on appropriation of the Fund and the implementation of projects financed by the Fund. They shall also mobilize residents to identify priority projects for the Fund to finance.
It is from this background that they are now accusing the ward administrator that she has never followed the above rules when running the office.
Their leader said: “The youths are calling upon the county government under governor Ojaamong to take immediate measures so that Bukhayo central people receives better services under his regime.”
The youths vowed to mobilise voters to campaign against Governor Ojaamon’g if the situation off bad leadership, dictatorship is not changed in Bukhayo central under the office of the current Ward administrator.
For instance last year the Governor’s office released Kshs. 1.2 million to the youths of Sidende area to acquire skills in driving but things turned sour when the ward administrator asked all the bodabodas who turned up to pay Kshs. 2000 for the training services.
“All her cronies didn’t pay anything. There is a poor road in Sidende while
Sibembe clinic is not completed even after the county government releasing Kshs. 2.5 million to complete the facility. No solar lights at Namisi market, no water and bad roads are the order of the day,” charged the youths.
They reminded most of the aspirants and public office holders including Bukhayo central ward administrator that public scrutiny is important saying no is entitled to arrest the electorates because they declined to support their candidature.
The youths argue that the one thing that is truly ugly is the climate of hate and intimidation, created by a noisy few, which makes the decent majority reluctant to air their views in public on anything controversial. Where all pretend to be thinking alike, it’s likely that no one is thinking at all.