EMERGING TRENDS

Kisumu County senator-governor battle

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By Joshua Odhiambo Nyamori

THERE IS NO SCANDAL IN THE PROPOSED KES. 1 BILLION BORROWING BY COUNTY GOVERNMENT OF KISUMU

These posts trying to scandalize the proposed long term capital borrowing by the County Government of Kisumu are a sign of desperation. Nyongo’s online honchos are desperate to develop a false narrative that would paint Jack Ranguma as corrupt.

But everywhere they go, everyone they meet is telling them the same thing: that this election is going to be decided, not on propaganda, but rather on tangible development record and the known characters of the candidates.

Both Jack Ranguma and Anyang Nyongo have been in positions of influence, JR as the Governor for three years and Nyongo as the MP for Seme, Minister for Planning and Minister for Medical Services for a cumulative period of 20 years.

In the 3 years, JR’s leadership credentials are inscribed along the rural roads where no roads existed before; on the walls of equipped, staffed and supplied dispensaries all over the county, where children previously died for malaria and cholera; on the walls of upgraded ECD centers, where children previously studied under trees; on the smiles of children whose education is financed by the Governor’s scholarships because their families could not afford to take them to school; and on the brightly lit and thriving late evening markets, where women would previously fold their wares as early as 5.00pm for fear of being mugged. The values of JR as a humble, unassuming and honest character remain unpatrolled.

Nyongo’s 20 years in position of influence has nothing to show save for widespread poverty, deprivation and inequality in the precinct he represented. The narratives of scandals in the Seme CDF and in NHIF hang over Nyongo like a colossus. What’s more, the mercurial, arrogant and disdainful character of Nyongo cannot be overemphasized.

But rather than facing these realities head on, Nyongo’s politburo have resorted to maligning the name and character of JR, thinking that this would earn Nyongo credit. They are mistaken.
JR is an accomplished accountant and finance expert. A budget that he presides over cannot their lack the expected credibility. There is nothing wrong with the budget proposal tabled before the County Assembly.

It is imperative that the Commission for Revenue Allocation (CRA) stopped Counties from financing long term capital investments using revenue and advised that the counties seek borrowed long-term financing for the same.

Kisumu is in dire need for heavy long-term capital investments to expand infrastructure in education, health and other service delivery areas. For example Kisumu has over 700 ECD centers, majority inherited by the County from the defunct local authorities in dilapidated conditions. The County has managed to upgrade 100 of these centers. 600 are still in sorry state in need of heavy capital inflow.

As advised by CRA, the County can only finance such important investments through borrowing from institutions that offer long term financing. The county has proposed to do this through “Design-Build-Finance” procurement model in which a contract is awarded for the design, construction, and full or partial financing of a facility. This approach takes advantage of the efficiencies of the design-build (DB) approach and also allows the project sponsor to completely or partially defer financing during the construction phase of the project.

There are two primary reasons that project sponsors use DBF procurements: (1) Owner cash flow constraints; (2) Desire to defer payment.

As such the financier will hand over complete and functional assets to the County. There is no possibility of any misappropriation of fund as no funds actually comes into the County’s bank account. It is such arrangements that were used to finance construction of estates like Arina, Ondiek, Makasembo, Robert Ouko etc through the National Housing Corporation.

It is therefore preposterous for Nyongo online propaganda mandarins to insinuate that the intended borrowing is either meant to fill a gap occasioned by, in their own deluded imaginations, misappropriation of funds, or that the money would be misappropriated.

Nyongo, through puppets and protégés, is pulling every stunt in the book to try and sabotage the development of Kisumu County. The attempt to block the County budget from being enacted is the group’s latest move being to scandalize JR’s government. They think this will shut down the Government and therefore change the relatively high approval rating of JR.

They should know that Kisumu people are cleverer and are able to see through their evil schemes. Nyongo and his ilk failed in developing the region in the 20years of their watch. Substantive development has been witnessed throughout the County since JR took over. They should give JR the space to continue transforming Kisumu.

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NANCY OKUTAH
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