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Sunday, July 23, 2017

Uhuru feud stems from meagre funding by Treasury, says Joho

Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho (Second, Left) opens the newly expanded Links Road in Nyali subcounty on April 15 /JOHN CHESOLI
Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho (Second, Left) opens the newly expanded Links Road in Nyali subcounty on April 15 /JOHN CHESOLI

Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho saysthe formula for national revenue distribution is biased against his county, an opposition stronghold.

He said on Wednesday his efforts to amend the formula and obtain some of the Mombasa Port proceeds were frustrated.

This impasse was the genesis of his feud with the presidency, the ODM deputy leader said on Wednesday in a live interview with KTN.

Joho has been accused of forging his academic certificates, tax evasion and drug dealing, all of which he has denied.

The governor said under the Constgitution the Jubilee government will not be able to block him from seeking reelection.

Joho said that the county, through the Senate, tried to force the Treasury to divert part of KPA’s annual Sh30 billion annual revenue to the county.

This failed and fuelled the feud, he said.

Joho denied the altercations with President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy William Ruto are personal, as many people perceive.

Wiper Senator Hassan Omar says there was a business falling out between Uhuru and Joho, who has major family business at the port.

Last month, Uhuru ordered Joho barred from a state function in Mombasa. Uhuru said Joho should stop following him as “I am not his wife.”

Joho said he is not ashamed of his altercation nor afraid to speak out.

In a big climbdown early this month, Uhuru’s administration had to admit Mombasa only received Sh16 billion from the state over four years — not Sh40 billion as Uhuru claimed.

Uhuru was bashing Joho for misusing Sh40 billion.

“We need a retainer from KPA proceeds to operate optimally. We have been misjudged as wanting to take over operations. What we are requesting is a share of resources,” he said.

Joho said Mombasa provides services to people living in neighbouring counties. This fact was not factored into national revenue allocation.

Joho said on Wednesday if calculations were based on population in the 2009 census, the Commission on Revenue Allocation “got it badly wrong”.

“When population size was being sought, it was done at night and those who work in Mombasa but reside elsewhere were not counted as Mombasa locals. Our meagre allocation is catering for nonresidents,” Joho said.

He defended the county’s huge spending outlined by the Auditor General for the 2014-15 fiscal year. Expenditure was put at 90 per cent of the county’s budget.

Joho said Mombasa inherited 3,000 staff from the municipal council.

Theonly way to reduce the wage bill was to increase revenue, not sack workers, he said.

“Should we have retrenched? Should I have denied them a salary by sacking them? Fortunately we managed to overcome this,” Joho said.

He said the county has improved revenue collection from Sh1 billion in the first year to Sh3 billion last year.

“This year’s target is Sh5 billion,” Joho said.

He said the county spends 20 per cent of its budget on development, up from 10 per cent over four years.

Joho called for developoment grants.

He defended the county against claims it is dirty and “stinks”.

Connverting waste into energy require a huge budget, which is lacking, he said.

“We require 100 million euros (Sh11.1 billion) to set up a plant. But we are partnering with Kilifi to help manage it,” he said.

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