• Laikipia Governor Muriithi has faulted the county assembly for failing to approve a Sh1.16 billion infrastructure bond while passing the 2021-2022 budget.
• The assembly said it would be too costly in interest, a burden to taxpayers and contractors and suppliers should be paid first.
Laikipia Governor Ndiritu Muriithi has criticised the county assembly for rejecting a Sh1.16 billion infrastructure bond while passing the budget.
Muriithi said on Thursday the law is clear the assembly cannot originate the County Fiscal Strategy Paper and the financial estimates. He said the law allows the House to consider the estimates and make amendments to the extent dictated by law.
“The executive will continue engaging MCAs, citizens and other stakeholders on budget items of public interest including, but not limited to the infrastructure bond," Muriithi said in a statement.
Last week, the assembly approved a Sh8.1 billion budget presented by the administration but rejected a Sh1.16 billion county infrastructure bond proposed by the governor.
Budget committee chairman Stephen Ndiritu presented the 2021-22 budget on Thursday and members discussed it.
Many of them said approving the bond would burden residents considering that it was money being borrowed.
“The Sh1.16 billion infrastructure bond would have been paid in seven years and the county government would pay Sh950 million,” Ndiritu said.
The county administration would get Sh5.1 billion in equitable share, Sh1 billion from own source revenue and Sh748m from conditional grants.
They argued that the county administration should first pay contractors and suppliers their pending bills before embarking on borrowing.
Members also argued that the financial estimates lacked development vote heads such as medicines, road construction and repair and water, among others.
Minority leader Jacob Edom said there was no vote for the construction of Early Childhood Education Centres in the budget.
“Where I come from in Sossian ward, children learn under the trees since there are no classrooms. Women also travel tens of kilometres in search of water since there are no boreholes,” Edom said.
He noted many times when he uses his personal vehicle to take sick people to hospitals but it's difficult owing to poor road networks.
In the budget, the governor had proposed Nanyuki Teaching and Referral Hospital would be allocated Sh160.7 million, while Nyahururu County Referral Hospital would receive Sh140.6 million.
Other semi-autonomous entities like County Public Service Board would get Sh18.million, the Laikipia County Revenue board Sh135 million and the Laikipia County Development Authority would receive Sh20 million.
Vocational training centers will receive Sh22.5 million, Rumuruti Municipality Sh21 million and the Emergency Fund Sh23.8 million.
(Edited by V. Graham) .