Kenya National Highway Authority (KeNHA), Kenya Urban Roads Authority (KURA) and the Kenya Rural Roads Authority (KeRRA) control billions of taxpayers monies collected from the fueled levy tax every time motorists purchase fuel.
The bulk of the fuel levy tax is allocated to KeNHA which is to construct, build and maintain the nationals highways second in the allocation is KURA that is charged with constructing maintaining specified road infrastructure in towns urban areas and the least recipient is KeRRA, which is charged with building and maintaining rural roads.
Since the onset of devolution, County governments have agitated that the role played out by KeRRA is meant for County governments and therefore the body should be dissolved and money allocated to it shared among the 47 Counties using an equitable formula. The arguments by the Counties are sound.
But since the three roads’ authorities fall under the national government, it’s the duty of the elected members of the National Assembly to hold those authorities accountable on what resources each receives and how the same are applied across the Republic of Kenya.
So can your elected MP tell you and me how much money in each financial year since 2017 has been allocated to KeNHA, KURA and KeRRA and of that allocation how much has reached your Constituency and County and the region? Is it not in laying bare the operations, usage of public resources as allocated to public entities like KeNHA, KURA, KeRRA that we may interrogate how the taxes national cake is being distributed across the country.
How are the ratios of distribution of the resources-funds to KeNHA, KeRRA, KURA-being distributed in the County? How much of those resources are reaching the Counties of the former Western Province of Kakemga, Bungoma, Busia, Vihiga and neighbouring Trans Nzoia County. If we do not prod, probe, interrogate these bodies then make no mistake that most of the money allocated to them may end up in the big cities like Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu, Eldoret, and Nakuru, with towns in Western getting pocket change.
So let our elected leaders come forward and tell us how they are fighting for equity, inclusiveness, fairness in how the road authorities of KeNHA, KURA and KeRRA are utilizing taxpayer money on roads infrastructure.
It would be foolhardy for our County governments to allocate over 50% of their County resources to roads infrastructure and yet the three road authorities are utilizing all or most of the allocations to few parts of Kenya and marginalizing Western Kenya due to the fact it’s far away from the Capital City where the three institutions are headquartered.
The challenge is for our elected MPs to fight for equity fairness in how KeNHA, KURA and KeRRA expend the billions of shillings they are allocated from the fuel levy imposed on all motorists and by extension all passengers who use public means and motorbikes.