NAIROBI, Kenya Oct 16 – Interior Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho has called for a review of laws and regulations guiding the sharing of national revenue and other public resources.
In an apparent reference to the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI), the PS said a national dialogue was necessary to debate suitable amendments to the existing formula that he described as unfair to densely populated counties.
The PS, who said he was expressing his personal opinion as ‘Citizen Kibicho’, said the county must have the courage to entrench equity in institutions that gave everyone the same opportunity to thrive however how unpopular the politics around the process were.
“We must have these conversations. We cannot continue with a situation where a county with 2.5 million people is given the same voice as another with 75,000 people. We can’t have a situation where bursary fund in one county is only enough to send students to day schools but can send learners abroad for others,” he said.
Dr. Kibicho further faulted the current quota system of admissions in public schools and colleges saying it discriminated against candidates in counties perceived to be developed and gave an example of his own child that he said had been locked out of a preferred school in favour of a learner from another county.
Said the PS: “Despite scoring 408 marks, my child was told he could not be admitted to his school of choice. The same slot was given to someone who scored 356 marks in another county. We must be brave enough to question this arrangement.”
He said the reforms, however, how unpopular, were necessary and overdue and likened them to a bitter but effective medicine.
Dr. Kibicho, who also chairs the National Development Implementation Technical Committee (NDITC), was speaking in Chuka town when he led 15 Principal Secretaries and the Secretary to the Presidential Delivery Unit Andrew Wakahiu on an inspection of projects in Tharaka-Nithi County.
Briefing the public at the end of the visit, the PS who was accompanied by Governor Muthomi Njuki and MPs and other leaders from the county said contractors who had abandoned some of the projects would go back to the site immediately after sticky issues were resolved.
Among the projects scheduled to benefit from the intervention are the Chuka-Kanwa-Kareni road, the Ciakariga-Marimanti-Gatunga road and the Chogoria-Weru-Kiriani road.
Others are the Chuka Kirubia stadium that the contractor pledged to complete by December this year and the county government headquarters at Kathanwa that will receive Sh32 million immediately to hasten its construction.
The NDITC also directed the immediate fixing of the pump at the Kanjuki Water Treatment plant and the preparation of budget estimates on a borehole to be drilled at the site to complement water supply.
On the Chogoria Water supply project, the Committee said it would seek the intervention of the Ministry of Environment to expedite pending approvals.