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DELICATE balancing act of legislation and re-election

 The County Assembly of Embu has embarked on the homestretch of its second term, with Ward Representatives faced with the delicate balancing act of legislating and working to defend their seats.

Embu Speaker Josiah Thiriku presiding over the Assembly Sitting. Photo/COURTESY

Speaking during the official opening of the fifth and final session of the second County Assembly, Majority Leader Michael Kariuki observed that MCAs would encounter a difficult task of ensuring development projects are implemented in the quest to leave a legacy that would endear them to the electorate and at the same time campaign to recapture their seats.

The Kithimu MCA revealed that there was a loud disquiet from residents due to hiccups encountered in the health sector. He also noted that bursaries to needy students had only been issued to high school day scholars while those in boarding schools, Vocational Training Centres, Tertiary Colleges and Universities missing out. Kariuki however gave reassurance that MCAs would ensure all glitches are sorted out.

The Majority Leader acknowledged that balancing between legislation, oversight and representation on one hand then campaigns on the other would not be a walk in the park for Ward Reps, but at the same time asserted that service delivery would remain uncompromised during the electioneering period as the August General Election draws nearer.

Pass budget

Mwea MCA Harrison Mwaluko pointed out that the Office of the Controller of Budget had given the County Assembly an ultimatum to pass the county budget for the 2022/2023 Financial Year by 31st March 2022, adding that this would call for expediting consideration of the Annual Development Plan and fast-tracking of the County Fiscal Strategy Paper to inform the budget making process.

However, Muminji MCA Newton Kariuki allayed fears of difficulty in conducting legislative business by saying this period would be the easiest for politicians in the County Assembly. He said the struggle to win the impending elections would demand serious performance by legislators and ensure that MCAs religiously attend plenary and Assembly committee sittings, table reports and pass Motions, therefore effectively shaping the Fifth Session.

During the Assembly’s first sitting of 2022, the appointment of MCAs Patrick Rugendo (Kagaari North), Ngari Mbaka (Mavuria) plus their nominated counterparts Bernard Kandia, Rose Kinyua and Sicily Njiru as members of the Assembly Rules and Business Committee was unanimously approved.

The newly appointed MCAs now join Chairperson Speaker Josiah Thiriku, Majority Leader Michael Kariuki (Kithimu) and Minority Leader Masters Mwaniki (Kiambere) in setting order of priority in Assembly business in the housekeeping committee.


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