•In an earlier advisory, the controller of budget told MCAs to stick to their oversight roles and leave the implementation of ward funds to the executive arm.
•The standoff between Mwangaza and MCAs started after the MCAs walked out of the county assembly chambers as the governor was making her first county address.
The Controller of Budget has summoned Meru Governor Kawira Mwangaza and Meru assembly members’ leadership due to a standoff over Ward funds.
Kawira has however won in the first round as the controller of budget told MCAs to stick to their oversight roles and leave the implementation of ward funds to the executive arm.
Mwangaza and assembly speaker Ayub Bundi had both written to Dr Magret Nyakang’o led commission demanding advisory opinion on the management and implementation of Ward Development Funds.
“In light of the raging controversy and divergent views reflected in the two letters, we invite you for a consultative meeting on Friday, November 4, 2022, at our offices on the 12th floor, Bima house at 12:00 to discuss pertinent issues and find consensus on the implementation of the Ward funds in accordance with the provisions of the law,” Nyakang’o says in the letter.
In a letter dated November 1, 2022, the office of the controller noted the concerns saying they had reviewed the two letters and noted the contents.
“It is evident from the two letters that the crux of the matter is the implementation of Ward Development Fund. Vide a circular Ref.No.COB/CIR/002/VOL.1 dated January 19, 2018the controller of Budget issued an advisory on Ward Development Funds. The circular touched on issues of separation of powers, the roles of members of county assemblies, establishment, management and administration of public funds,” the letter indicates.
In the 2018 response letter addressed to the county assembly’s clerks and county finance executive members, regulations 197 of the public finance management (County government) Regulations, 2015 specifically prescribes conditions which must be met for a county public fund to be established.
“Having reviewed the draft legislations establishing the Ward development funds, which were forwarded by several counties, we have observed majority do not meet conditions of Regulations 197. The establishment of the ward development fund will contravene regulation 197, therefore ward projects should be budgeted under the development budgets and implemented by respective departments. County assemblies should in turn play their oversight role in accordance with article 185(5) of the constitution,” the letter from the former controller of Budget Agness Odhiambo read.