LONG WAIT

CoB: Why Mandera, Wajir won’t get cash just yet

Frequent wrangles stall passage of budgets in the devolved units

In Summary

• Controller of Budget Margaret Nyakang’o has said that the two counties will not get disbursements from the National Treasury just yet.

• Nyakang’o said the devolved units have not submitted to her office their budgets and work plans for scrutiny and approval. 

Mandera Governor Ali Roba
Mandera Governor Ali Roba
Image: STEPHEN ASTARIKO

Mandera and Wajir will not receive cash from the Treasury on Monday as other counties get funds to run operations after a four-month delay. 

Controller of Budget Margaret Nyakang’o said the two counties will not get disbursements from the Treasury because they are yet to submit budgets and work plans for scrutiny and approval.

 
 
 

“I still don’t have [budgets for] Mandera and Wajir. I am told for Mandera, the assembly and the executive have agreed. So we are expecting any time now to receive theirs. But Wajir is still in the wilderness,” Nyakang’o told the Star.

 

Mandera budgeted Sh11.4 billion for the financial year 2020-2021, with Sh10 billion to come from Treasury. Wajir expects Sh8.5 billion from the Treasury. 

Counties have had a cash-crunch since July because of a failure by the Senate to agree on a new formula to share Sh316 billion to the devolved units. That stalemate was resolved last month. President Uhuru Kenyatta has signed the Bill to allow the money to go to counties.

Wrangles pitting the executives and county assemblies in Wajir and Mandera stalled the passage of their budgets.

The CoB noted that her office has not received any communication from Wajir regarding the status of the county's 2020-21 budget.

“In fact, there is acrimony there from all angles. So we are just wondering what will happen to them.  It is very serious,” she said. 

The Constitution mandates the CoB to oversee implementation of the budgets of the national and county government by authorising withdrawals from public funds.

The law states that the CoB shall not approve any withdrawal from a public fund unless satisfied that the withdrawal is authorised by law.

 
 
 

As such, the national and county government entities are required to submit their budgets and work plans for verification for their compliance with the law before approval for withdrawals are given.

 
 
 

Other counties are expected to start receiving their monies from the Treasury from Monday after Uhuru last week signed the bill to unlock the release of the cash.

The County Allocation of Revenue Bill was assented to on Thursday moments before the Senate approved the county cash disbursements schedule.

The Act allocates the counties Sh369.87 billion comprising of Sh316.5 billion of equitable share and Sh13.73 billion in grants.

According to the disbursement schedule, the counties are expected to receive Sh79.12 billion within seven days from last Thursday to restore their operations.

The money is the total allocation for the first quarter of the year. It will be released to the individual County Revenue Funds accounts by the Central Bank of Kenya.

“The process is now complete. All the arrangements including the amounts to be released immediately are ready. So, I think, the main requisition from Treasury to transfer the funds from the consolidated fund to the county revenue funds, could come anytime,” Nyakango said.

She added, “Come next week, we now expect counties to come with their specific requisitions. For instance, they will say they want to pay salaries, they will make a requisition for that.”