A lobby group in Ugenya has challenged Ugenya MP David Ochieng and his NG-CDF committee to publish all information on the activities of the Ugenya Constituency Development Fund as per the law. The Lobby known as Ugenya Accountability Forum (UAF) invoking Article 35 of the Constitution which guarantees all Kenyan citizens the right to access any information held by the state or information held by another person and required for the exercise or protection of any right or fundamental freedom.
According to UAF, the Ugenya MP and his NG-CDF Committee has deliberately withheld information with regards to the operations of the Ugenya NG-CDF by failing to update information on Allocations, Project Implementation Status or even the list of current committee members. A quick look at the Ugenya NG-CDF portal reveals that no effort has been made to update the website which still displays the former MP for Ugenya and the old NG=CDF Committee members.
The lobby group also accuses the MP and the current NG-CDF of failing to make public all tender information as required by Law. On August 3rd 2018, President Uhuru Kenyatta issued Executive Order No 2 of 2018 that compelled public procuring entities to make public tender details so as to enable Kenyans scrutinize the items purchased, contract prices and the particulars of the suppliers including owners, directors and any other individuals with beneficial ownership of the winning companies. The order required public entities to update and publicize tendering details through their websites, e-Citizen, Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA), public notice boards and official Government publications. While issuing the order, President Uhuru Kenyatta said there existed an overriding national good to deepen accountability and transparency in the procurement of goods and services.
The lobby, composed of over 200 members now wants Hon. David Ochieng and his committee to come clean and publish the details regarding all the tenders he has presided over for the last 7 years he has been in office. In his Facebook post recently, former Ugenya aspirant Daniel Juma Omondi promised a reward for anyone who can demonstrate Ugenya Constituency NG-CDF openly publishes tenders like other constituencies in the country.
Members of the Lobby have accused the current NG-CDF committee of selectively awarding tenders to members of his MDG party and friendly teachers who will then be compelled to support his re-election bid. They have also accused the current committee of refusing to finish the projects initiated by the immediate former MP Chris Karan. For example, the former committee allegedly paid Kshs. 3 million to a Mombasa based driving school as deposit for driving licenses for 1,000 bodaboda riders last year. However according to the former MP’s aides, there is a balance of Kshs 1.8 million to be paid before the 1000 driving licences can be issued. The current committee has refused to pay the balance which means that the Ugenya NG-CDF stands to lose Kshs. 3 million.
The Ugenya Accountability Forum has threatened to go to court in public interest if their demands are not met.