Luanda MP Chris Omulele wants the National Assembly to expedite passing of the Roads Bill that define rural roads to be governed by counties and central government. Omulele said that the Bill pending before the house should be passed to be able to deal with the row between governors and the
national government over managing of rural roads.
“MPs should give priority to discussing and passing the Bill because many roads in the rural areas are in a deplorable condition because of the tug of war between the two governments,” said Omulele.
Omulele made the remarks when he paid a courtesy call on Vihiga Governor Moses Akaranga in his office recently. He added that the Bill gave authority to governors to manage most rural roads because they were the custodian of huge resources for the same disbursed to counties by the national government. He therefore added that MPs should not fear giving governor more legal authority to be in charge of construction and maintenance of the roads.
The MP noted that there was need of a legislation that compelled the national government to disburse more money to counties for improvement of roads network in the regions.
Akaranga supported Omulele’s move and urged MPs to pass the Bill when the House resumes from recess to fast track improvement of roads infrastructure in counties. The governor said that he has managed to make close to 200 kilometers of murram roads in the county adding that those that belonged to Kenya Rural Roads Authority (KERRA) were still in a pathetic state. He added that he could not rehabilitate such roads because the constitution barred the county from doing so.
Akaranga and Omulele also asked the national government to increase funds allocated to constituencies for maintenance of roads in the regions.
“Counties have been receiving peanuts for maintenance of roads…for example in Vihiga we got only Sh45 million to be shared among the five sub counties which was not enough,” he explained.
Akaranga noted that Sh45 million was not enough to maintain roads in one Sub County.
Omulele said Luanda received Sh13 million for the same and after paying taxes he remained with only Sh9 million to use on rehabilitating the roads. He however added that despite the meager resources he has managed to secure funds from other sources to make roads in his area.
“I have so far spent more than Sh100 to make roads in my constituency and most of these resources were from donors,” he added.
Akaranga noted that President Uhuru has promised to tarmac 83 kilometers of roads in the county this year. He added that the roads to be tamarced will cut across the county and will give a permanent solution to problems residents were facing due to poor state of roads