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DEVOLVED STAND-OFF

Migori's budget reading differed over Sh84m pending bill

Muhuru Bay MCA Hevron Maira said the assembly is expected to table the budget on Monday

In Summary

• The assembly had planned a special sitting to table the 2020-21 budget  on Friday, which did not happen due to the disagreement.

• Instead, selected MCAs met at a local hotel in Migori town to iron out their differences

Migori County Assembly
Migori County Assembly
Image: MANUEL ODENY

Migori county's Sh8 billion budget reading has been delayed over a standoff between the assembly and the executive over pending bills.

Migori assembly has accumulated Sh84 million pending bills since 2013 and payment through the assembly or Public Service Management department has sparked a stalemate.

Through a gazette notice by speaker Boaz Owiti, the assembly had planned a special sitting to table the 2020-21 budget  on Friday, which did not happen due to the disagreement.

Instead, selected MCAs led by Kaler MCA Thomas Akungo and Budgets and Appropriation Committee chair met at a local hotel in Migori town to iron out their differences

Selected members from the executive also had a parallel meeting at the same hotel to finalise the budget process.

“We had a mishap on Friday as the standoff has to be ironed out first to see how the bills will be cleared. Most involved building of ward offices,” Akungo aid.

He said because of the pending bills, tax payers have been losing more through litigation as cases pile in court.

“As the assembly, we have to abide by the spirit of the national government to pay all the pending bills and seek to ensure all are paid. That is the bottom line,” Akungo said.

Muhuru Bay MCA Hevron Maira said the assembly is expected to table the budget on Monday after new gazette notice is issued once the disagreement is solved.

"On the onset of devolution, assemblies used to draw their development projects from the executive before they became semi-autonomous. Some projects that were started before this shift were affected," Maira said..

Migori will spend slightly over Sh8 billion in the new financial year and only Sh3.6 billion will be used in development.

Government allocated Sh6.8 billion to Migori with the rest coming in from donors and grants.

Akungo said in the just concluded financial year they had targeted to collect Sh450 million as local revenue, and only got Sh250 million “because of negative effects of coronavirus on the economy.”

Migori, like most counties suspended revenue collection and closed markets in a bid to cushion locals against the virus.

“Migori still has a huge potential to collect even more revenue next year if the process is automated and effects of the virus are eased,” Akungo said.

Edited by EKibii