A section of Embu residents and leaders are up in arms over a plan by the County Assembly to set aside millions of taxpayers' cash to foot bill for gymnasium subscriptions for overweight Members of County Assembly (MCAs) and staffs.
While giving a sneak review of the Assembly's budget for 2018/19 financial year, Embu Speaker Josiah Thiriku said they had realised that several of the 33 Ward Representatives and 80 staff members had gained weight and faced serious health risks and thus the need for the kitty.
He said the budget would allow the MCAs to access to aerobics, saunas and other fitness options.
“The Assembly Service Board has factored that members need to be fit. I think all of us have added some weight. We have factored some money for members to participate in activities geared towards their fitness."
"We shall be paying subscriptions for members who wish to join gym and aerobics or even sauna to lose some weight,” Thiriku said.
Thiriku further revealed plans by the Assembly to launch Sh40 million car loan and mortgage scheme for staff members and installation of CCTV cameras in MCAs offices.
However, the proposals have angered some area leaders and residents, who termed it as blatant wastage of public resources.
Runyenjes Central MCA Steve Simba said he will rally other members to reject the proposal. He said Ward Reps wishing to lose weight should pay gym subscription fees from their pockets.
“This is total wastage of resources. Why should you eat excessively and the county spend money to help you reduce the excess weight? Again why do you have to use a vehicle all the time?" he posed.