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Minister Requena Says Village Water Boards to be Re-Formed

The trade license reform is one of many reforms that Minister Oscar Requena is looking to undertake. Waterboards have long been the center of complaints by villagers who have had trouble accessing water and have long been at the center of allegations of money mismanagement. The corruption has gotten so severe over the years that often times village residents would have more regard for the politically appointed water board members than they do for the elected village chairman and councilors. Several sources have indicated to our newsroom that members of these boards are often appointed because they have strong political ties to the ruling party. It is a practice that Minister Requena is now seeking to change and has gotten approval from Cabinet to do so.

Oscar Requena, Ministry of Rural Transformation, Community Development, Local Government and Labour: : “It was two weeks ago I took a paper to Cabinet in which we sought Cabinet’s approval and we did get that approval for our ministry to proceed in terms of amending the Village Council Act to allow for waterboards to be managed by the duly elected village councils. Again that is significant. We are now going to put the people who are duly elected by the communities to be in charge, they are going to have the majority on the water board to ensure that the resources of the water board are managed in a very transparent manner again for the benefit of the people and the community. I also want to say that we’re also looking at other amendments within the law apart from the water board. We’re also looking at again how we can empower our village councils to be able to one collect trade licenses where we have the use of natural resources such as sand pits and mines. Again we’re looking at how the communities can benefit from that because at the end of the day you know we want to ensure that whatever resources the country has that we use them and distribute the min a more equitable manner for the benefit of all.”