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Sunday, April 23, 2017

Sh40bn, Sh16bn, Sh21bn - Can’t somebody count?

Mombasa governor Hassan Joho addressing tana river county residents  at Hola stadium on March 19,2017./GPS
Mombasa governor Hassan Joho addressing tana river county residents at Hola stadium on March 19,2017./GPS

President Uhuru Kenyatta’s sensational accusation that Governor Hassan Joho has failed Mombasa, despite getting Sh40 billion over four years has not been substantiated.

The county says it received only Sh16.4 million over four years but has done the best it can in development, despite meager Treasury assistance.

The national Commission on Revenue Allocation says the county got Sh21.7 billion over that period.

Whatever the figures, there’s an embarrassing gap between what the President, the former minister of Finance ( 2009-2012 ), and his own CRA has to say.

Uhuru’s advisers are scurrying to prove his assertion and justify his county bashing with debated figures.

The executive has not provided evidence to support Uhuru’s claim.

Still, the county highlighted achievements, “despite limited funding, Sh16.4 billion, from the national government”.

Uhuru’s point men have tried to make the arithmetic convincing but the numbers don’t add up.

Deputy governor hopeful Anania Mwaboza last week said the county has received Sh43.79 billion in the last four years. The JP politician quoted 2013-17 reports by the Controller of Budget and county assembly PAC.

But the document by Mwaboza contained gaps. The sum did not hit Sh43.79 billion.

A spot check on the Commission on Revenue Allocation’s figures showed total allocations (equitable and conditional transfers) is Sh21.7 billion.

The county denies receiving Sh257 million for fiscal 2012-13.

It said the sum cited by CRA and Mwaboza can only be validated via bank statements, adding the figures as stated cannot be relied upon.

CRA and Mombasa records show a deficit of Sh20 billion between what Uhuru and his advisers quoted.

Joho last week wrote to Treasury CS Henry Rotich, requesting the deficit be sent to the county. “I further request for the immediate disbursement of the balance of the Sh40 billion, which is 23.6 billion,” he said.

Mwaboza said in 2013-14, the county received national equitable share of Sh4.2 billion, local collections of Sh5.1 billion and donor funding of Sh2.4 billion, total Sh11.7 billion.

Mwaboza included estimates of local collections, which he said the county got that fiscal year, yet Mombasa failed to meet the target.

The same report quoted by Mwaboza showed Mombasa only raised Sh1.72 billion from local revenue, not Sh5.1 billion. Total allocation for 2013-14 could not, therefore, hit Sh11.7 billion.

Writing to Treasury, Joho said in 2013-14, the county received Sh3.5 billion after Sh700 million was deducted by the state, which claimed it had paid county civil servants.

The CRA report, however, showed in 2013-14, the county got 4.3 billion.

In 2014-15, Mwaboza said the county received a national equitable share of Sh4.74 billion, Sh5.12 billion local collection and donors (Sh3.92 billion), totalling to Sh13.78 billion.

But the report by the Controller of Budget, which Mwaboza said he relied on, showed, during the first nine months, the county received only Sh3.07 billion from the Treasury.

It said the county raised Sh1.97 billion from local sources, with Sh435 million brought forward from the previous year. This does not add up to the Sh13.78 billion cited by Mwaboza.

Joho’s letter to Rotich showed he received only Sh4.7 billion that year. But CRA records showed the county was awarded Sh200 million more.

In 2015-16, Mwaboza said national equitable share was Sh5.16 billion, local collection Sh5.18 billion and conditional grant Sh573 million, totalling Sh10.91 annual allocation.

However, a report by the Controller of Budget, which Mwaboza purportedly quoted, says the county was given the funds, but was expected to get the cited cash.

For instance, the report said the county was expected to collect Sh5.18 billion from local sources, but according to the Local Revenue National Exchequer Issues and County Expenditure Performance managed to raise Sh2.9 billion only.

In the same year, Joho said he got only Sh5.8 billion. CRA records show the county received Sh5.9 billion, not Sh10.91 billion quoted by Mwaboza.

In this year, Mwaboza said the county is to receive Sh7.4 billion, Sh5.7 billion from the national equitable share, Sh4 billion from local collection. He did not provide evidence.

Joho’s letter showed the county got Sh3.5 billion. CRA showed the county is set to get Sh6.3 billion.

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