The vulnerable and marginalized groups in Isiolo County have expressed fears that funds budgeted for their empowerment have been embezzled and called on the Ethics and Anti- Corruption Commission (EACC) to intervene and establish the fate of the money.
The minority groups who include People Living with Disabilities (PLWDs) have decried the failure of the devolved government to cater for prior basic necessities that were being provided by the national government.
The chairman of the PLWDs Mr. Adan Halakhe also expressed disappointment that despite more than Shs eight million being budgeted every financial year for their empowerment only some T-shirts were provided during the Desert Wheel Chair race held in the county last year after complaining to the county governor.
“We budgeted for some money for grants and Cash Transfers for the Disabled, celebrations for internationally recognized days for the disabled, Nairobi International Marathon and some money to help run Almasi Village which is a home for the physically challenged children,” said Mr. Halakhe.
“We used to be provided by the national government with basic necessities especially foodstuffs since we live in a county that is regularly faced with drought and food shortages but with devolution this has now become a thing of the past,” said Mr. Reuben Ewiyan, a visually challenged retired teacher who is the leader of the PLWDs
Mr. Ewiyan expressed fears that the county government could be employing divide and rule tactics to ensure that the PWDs do not unite and expresses their grievances as one voice.
Another member of the Vulnerable and Marginalized groups Ali Godana Boru said they have only been hearing of monies budgeted for their welfare yet no single cent has been utilized for their favour.
“We have involved our MCA (nominated Member of County Assembly for marginalized groups) and the Gender and Equality Commission complaining over the misappropriation of funds for the vulnerable and marginalized groups contrary to Article 56 of Kenya constitution 2010 but we are still stranded,” said Mr. Boru.
He said the marginalized groups should have been funded to participate in the Isiolo Cultural Festival which to their dismay never materialized unlike during the times when they dealt directly with the national government.
The Isiolo Member of County Assembly representing the Vulnerable and marginalized groups Hassan Shano said despite efforts by the county assembly to support and empower these groups, the funds budgeted for them end up in the pockets of a few unscrupulous individuals in the county executive.
Efforts to reach the County Executive Committee member for Education, Youth, Gender and Sports Maulid Hassan for comment bore no fruits because he was not in office by the time KNA went to press.