Lamu, KENYA: Lamu residents have questioned the real motive as to why the county assembly set aside Sh.670,000 for the purchase of coffins for all departments of the county government in this year’s budget.
Residents have expressed their shock and criticized the allocation which they termed funny and suspicious; saying there was more than meets the eye concerning the coffin purchase allocation.
Many feel that the allocation was an unnecessary burden to the meager allocation the county gets each year.
This year,Lamu county was accorded Sh.2.6 Billion by treasury.
A huge population of Lamu and county workers respectively are Muslims and many have questioned what the coffin allocation is intended for since Muslims are never buried in coffins.
They have called on the county government and particularly on Lamu governor Issa Timamy to take a deeper look into the matter and have the funds reverted to development projects in the county.
” We Muslims don’t need coffins.we demand to know therefore why such a huge amount of money will be set aside just to buy coffins,for who and who is going to kill whoever will be put in those coffins? Why do MCAs keep playing with public funds like this? Do they think we are children and we won’t find out their funny dealings? We want the governor to find out what’s happening and tell us,”said Ali Kassim.
They have called on the office of the auditor general in the country to investigate the county budget allocations since many feel that funds are being misappropriated.
However,Lamu county Budget Appropriations Committee chair Omar Lali defended the allocation saying the money was meant to buy coffins for non-muslim county staff when they die.
“we have people from other parts of Kenya who work here and aren’t Muslims and that’s why we have considered them and made that allocation.The money caters for all expenses including purchase of coffins and ferrying the body to whichever destination,”said Lali.
Lali said allocation was only made in good faith and wasn’t intended to insinuate any bad luck for the non-Muslims working in Lamu.