Ndichu withdraws plan to build speaker’s house following public outcry.

Kiambu Speaker Stephen Ndichu Rugendo.

Following a public outcry, Kiambu Assembly Speaker Stephen Ndichu Rugendo Ndabi has vowed to crash down the County Assembly plans to build a speaker’s residence as budgeted for in the County Fiscal Strategy Paper for 2018/2019 tabled on the floor by the House Finance Committee Chairman Daniel Ngure on Wednesday.

In a Facebook post on Thursday night, the speaker apologised to the people of Kiambu County for supporting the members’ proposal and swore to quash any attempts to do so ‘under his watch as speaker’.

“I have seen, read and heard the sentiments of Kiambu people concerning the above captioned matter. Let me apologise most profusely to the people of Kiambu for supposedly supporting this project when the people are suffering for lack of medicine in hospitals and bad roads,” read part of his statement.

He sought for forgiveness from Kiambu people for wrongly prioritising what needed to be done and admitted that the Members Lounge and the said canteens were not a priority at the moment.

“Much more than there might be need to have an official residence for the Speaker, Members lounge and the said canteens, l quite agree that they are not a priority at the moment. I seek forgiveness from Kiambu people for wrongly prioritising what need to be done. I agree, Wanjiku first!” he said. 

Reports on the proposed KES. 300 million proposal to construct a lounge and canteens for the ward representatives (MCAs) and the speaker’s residence in the 2018/2019 financial year was met with angry reactions from residents who questioned the assembly’s misplaced priorities.

The county assembly had proposed to spend KES. 160 million to construct a lounge and canteens for the ward representatives and staff. Out of this amount, KES. 80 million will be spent to construct a “MEMBERS ONLY” exclusive lounge for the MCAs with an equal amount set aside for a canteen for the other assembly members of staff.

The speaker’s residence had been allocated KES. 105 million, with KES. 55 million to be spent this fiscal year and the balance of KES. 50 million to be released in subsequent budgets.

(Related story:  Kiambu to spend over sh. 300 million on MCAs canteen, speaker residence.)

People’s Reactions.

The following is a sample of some of the people’s angry reactions online over the matter…

“So the MCAs have now discovered that they can't eat together with the electorate. Isoriat.”

“YOU GUYS COME TO KIGANJO ROAD INAHITAJI ONLY 100000 only”

“Same old garbage by these gluttons! (The worst of a lousy bunch of leeches and vultures).”

“Baba yao Waititu, you must prove your mettle. You must review all projects before signing to approve. Please note that Kiambu voters siku hizi hawataki mediocrity. Your C.A.Ts are ongoing; you might not fear the Bar-owners club, but be very much afraid of the power of the men and women at street level. The hawkers, shoe shiners, mama mbogas, shop and bar attendants, drivers etc. Kabogo's exit was initiated in the mouths of such people and was irreversible!!!!!!!”

“Sad Kiambu is stuck with this lot for five long years!”

“Politicians ni wale wale.na wanasema government haijawapea pesa yakutosha.. Nonsense!”

“Ucio ni wana. Andu acio matireciria Wanjiku!”

Not clear.

It is however not clear, what will happen after this about-turn by the speaker and where the money that had been allocated for the initial project will be diverted to. What we can say is that Kiambu is following keenly and will see what transpires from now on.

However, we salute the County speaker for his bold move and say, “It’s only a fool that doesn’t change their minds.”
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