Kitui youth demonstrate to protest Assembly’s move to deny Kicotec funds

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Business in Kalundu trading center within Kitui Town was disrupted for hours as hundreds of youths staged demos to protest the County Assembly’s move to deny Kitui County Textile Center (Kicotec) funds in the 2020-2021 budget

Business in Kalundu trading centre within Kitui Town was disrupted for hours as hundreds of youths staged demos to protest the County Assembly’s move to deny Kitui County Textile Centre (Kicotec) funds in the 2020-2021 budget.

            The irate youths, who work at the garment making factory, accused the Assembly of orchestrating a scheme to sabotage the factory which has been producing PPEs to help fight coronavirus in Kenya.

            “We know Ngilu set aside funds to start Kicotec branches in Mutomo and Mwingi but the MCAs denied her the funds. Where do they want the youth to get jobs from?” said Doreen Kasaani.

            “We are tired of these MCAs because they are ever bent on frustrating Governor Charity Ngilu’s development agenda. Let them know we will punish them at the ballot come 2022,” rued Titus Mule.

            But the protesters, who were marching from the factory at Syongila towards the CBD, were intercepted by police at Kalundu who blocked and later dispersed them denying them a chance to present their petition to the Assembly.

            While passing the budget on June 30, the MCAs scrapped out Sh. 50 million which Ngilu had allocated for expansion of Kicotec into Mutomo and Mwingi branches ostensibly to increase its production capacity besides creating more jobs for the youth and women.

            The house held that Kicotec had outlived its three-year statutory allocations from the county coffers and ought to sustain its operations forthwith.

            But Ngilu’s administration rejected the approved budget estimates citing extensive revision by the MCAs whom the law allows to make variations not exceeding one percent of the total budget estimates.

            The pull and push triggered a protracted budget impasse between the County Assembly and Executive as services ground to a halt while county staff’s July salaries remain unpaid.

            Controller of Budget Dr. Margaret Nyakango has since written to the two arms of county government urging them to drop their hardline stances to pave way for viable budget negotiations.