WIPER MAJORITY, NARC MINORITY

We'll end Kitui budget rift — Minority leader

KIsangau said Ngilu was furious because he supported sacking of ministers who allegedly forged certificates

In Summary

• Nganga took office on Friday after his predecessor resigned in anger.

• The budget stalemate has hurt development, Nganga says.

New Kitui Minority leader Alex Nganga speaking to journalists on Friday last week.
ENDING STALEMATE: New Kitui Minority leader Alex Nganga speaking to journalists on Friday last week.
Image: MUSEMBI NZENGU

The new Kitui County Assembly Minority leader Alex Nganga promised on Sunday to end to the budget stand-off.

He leads the assembly's reorganized Narc party leadership. Narc is the minority, while Wiper holds the majority of seats, making it possible to block Governor Charity Ngilu.

Nganga took over as the leader of Ngilu’s Narc administration in the assembly on Friday last week after John Kasangau resigned. Nganga had been his deputy. 

Nganga pledged in a press statement that the new Narc minority leadership in the assembly would improve assembly performance. He said his team would adopt consultation to resolve disputes.

Kitui is experiencing a budget stand-off between the executive and the assembly.

"This is an area we are moving with speed to address as it will unlock other barriers of development,” Nganga said.

Governor Ngilu has rejected the Sh 11.5 billion budget estimates for 2019-20 that were passed by the assembly in late June because MCAs introduced amendments costing more than the one per cent allowed by law.

Kitui Finance chief officer Enoch Nguthu officer told the MCAs during a meeting last week that the excessive changes in the budget by the  assembly violated the law

I have had a very difficult time as leader of government business in the assembly defending Ngilu's administration that hardly got a thing right. It did not perform to voters' expectations.  I can now sigh with relief. 
John Kasangau

The dispute has forced the county to operate on a vote on account that allows the use of only 50 per cent of a budget. The appropriation bill for 2019-20 is yet to be passed due to the stalemate.

But Nganga said, “As the new minority leadership, we commit to embracing a more consultative approach in resolving some of the stalemates holding back progress in our county.”

On Thursday, Kasangau, the Kitui minority leader since the 2017 elections, called a press conference to announce he was quitting. He said it was no longer tenable to continue serving.

“I have had a very difficult time as leader of government business in the assembly defending Ngilu's administration that hardly got a thing right. It did not perform to voters' expectations.  I can now sigh with relief,” he said.

Kisangau said Ngilu had been furious at him because he seconded a proposal to sack two of her ministers who had allegedly presented forged degree certificates to get county employment.

“She was also not amused that I supported the rejection of the hiring of two additional chief officers,” he said.

Kisangau challenged Ngilu to go ahead and expel him from her Narc party, expressing confidence he would be reelected.

He said Ngilu’s administration was headed into very difficult times as the assembly would not approve any programmes that were not procedural and did not benefit the people.

(Edited by V. Graham )