• The rejection was a bold statement against raw theft of public resources
• Lawmaker says the MCAs chose to be counted on the right side of history
Kitui Senator Enoch Wambua has praised MCAs for rejecting the Sh11.7 billion supplementary for 2018-19.
The county assembly last Thursday said the proposals by Governor Charity Ngilu’s administration were illegal. MCAs, including those from Ngilu’s Narc party, unanimously shot it down. Wambua said they acted in the interests of residents.
He said there was no other option but “to slay the dragon of blatant theft of public resources in Kitui county before it kills all of us”.
“Rejection of the supplementary budget by the County Assembly of Kitui must be appreciated for what it is — a bold statement against raw theft of public resources,” he said in a statement.
Wambua further praised the assembly for holding a special sitting last Friday and passing the 2019-20 budget with major amendments. He termed it another bold move in speaking truth to power.
“On these two scores, the CA [county assembly] of Kitui struck the right cord and chose to be counted on the right side of history,” he said, adding the decisions were made in the letter and spirit of the Constitution.
“The Constitution and the principles of devolution do not envisage the role of any county assembly in Kenya to be rubber-stamping skewed policy decisions or regularising gross violation of provisions of the Public Finance Management Act by county executives.”
The shooting down of the supplementary budget came three days to the end of the last financial year.
The members opposed the use of development funds for salaries and emoluments as had been requested by the Ngilu administration.
They questioned why in just two years of Ngilu’s leadership, the wage bill had shot from Sh2 billion to Sh4.4 billion.
They also said the passing of the document would illegally overshoot expenditure in some budget lines by more than 10 per cent.
The members cited widespread misappropriation of money allocated for development in the budget they previously passed.
In the Sh11.5 billion 2019-20 budget, they allocated no funds to two of Ngilu’s pet projects — Kicotec and the Ballast Crusher in Kwavonza.
They said the funding will be done after a policy and legal framework is established to run the initiatives.
Wambua cautioned the Ngilu administration against trying to arm-twist the county assembly. He urged the MCAs not to be worried.
“I will move to the Senate to pursue the enactment of legislation for complete financial autonomy of the county assemblies from the county executives. That will ensure proper independence in the execution of oversight responsibilities,” the senator said.
(Edited by F'Orieny)