Minister Requena says Maya Centre Situation Unfortunate
We also caught up with the Minister of Rural Transformation, Community Development, Local Government, and Labor, Oscar Requena. Requena is the person who made the appointment in consultation with the area representative and village council. Requena says that the aim is to ensure that there is accountability and transparency and that proper procedures are being followed.
Hon. Oscar Requena, Minister of Rural Transformation, Community Development, Local Government and Labour: “It is unfortunate that that situation occurred in Maya Center but what I can say to you is that as a ministry we have a clear responsibility in terms of our responsibility is to ensure that we appoint the water boards that’s my responsibility as the minister in consultation with the area representative of whatever area also in consultation with the village councils. In the case of Maya Center this process, we went through this process, we consulted with the area rep and the village council was engaged, they made their recommendations and you know we adhered to those recommendations. What I want to say also is in addition to our responsibility to appointing water boards we also have a responsibility to ensure that we train these water boards, we train our village councils and that we also have overnight in terms of the finances for water boards and that is what we do. Our rural development officers go in regularly every month into these communities and they certainly do check and balances to ensure that they are complying with the requirements as it relates to managing the funds of the water board in a very prudent manner. With regards to the community where the community requests the use of water board funds for a public purpose let’s say they want to carry out a project in the community there’s a clear procedure as to how that is done. What the water board has to do is write the minister responsible for water board appointments indicating that a particular village council or a particular community would like to make use of certain funds that has to come to the minister for approval ,we have to look at it, we have to see whether the water board has the level of stability and financial prudence and if that is so then the minister recommends and signs off on the requests that the community is making for us of the community.”
Some of the villagers also demanded that the current village council chairman be removed from his position.