16 EX-MCAS HIRED LAST WEEK

Kakamega county assembly is in red

Executive yet to release Sh360m for salaries, crucial operations and pending bills

In Summary

• The assembly's service board sent clerk Patrick Kamwessar on early retirement. He has sued the assembly.

• The Star established that the county treasury only released the first tranche of Sh1 million and has frozen the balance of Sh2 million per ward.

Embattled Kakamega county assembly clerk Patrick Kamwessar in Kakamega town yesterday.
Embattled Kakamega county assembly clerk Patrick Kamwessar in Kakamega town yesterday.
Image: HILTON OTENYO

Vital services may be disrupted at the Kakamega county assembly if the executive does not release Sh360 million it is withholding. 

The assembly leadership is unable to remit statutory and loan deductions of Sh40 million from its employees because of the cash crunch.

The assembly approved Sh1.06 billion for its budget. It has pending bills of Sh67 million. 

 

 A source in the finance department told the Star on Tuesday the executive has not released cash to the assembly two months to end of the 2018-2019 fiscal year. 

"We have been following up the money, but it has become a game of ping pong. When you go to the finance office, they sent you to the treasury CEC who refers you to the governor. The only person who can speak to the governor is the speaker," the source said.

 Multiple sources have told the Star the situation is dire. The assembly may be unable to discharge its core mandate of legislation and oversight if the money is not released immediately. 

Efforts to get a comment from speaker Morris Buluma, who is the assembly's spokesman, were futile. He neither answered calls nor replied text messages sent to his cellphone. 

On April 25, there was an uproar in the assembly following reports that Governor Wycliffe Oparanya had hired 16 election losers.

The former MCAs were hired as community subcounty administrators. They were hired for a two-year contract to supervise the women and youth empowerment programme and will earn Sh 50, 000 salary monthly.

 This was seen as attempts by the governor to use taxpayers' money to set in place his 2022 presidential campaign structures. But Kakamega Senator Cleophas Malala said the creation of new positions for political cronies amounts to an abuse of office.

 

The county government denied claims that it dished out jobs to former MCAs. Sports and Youth executive Robert Makhanu said ex-ward representatives were competitively recruited by the county public service board. 

The assembly's service board sent clerk Patrick Kamwessar on early retirement. He has sued the assembly. 

 

MCAs are also unhappy with Governor Oparanya for withholding their ward education bursary funds.

 The Star established that the county treasury only released the first tranche of Sh1 million and has frozen the balance of Sh2 million per ward.

 A number of MCAs said the government duped them to pass a supplementary budget on the promise that each ward will be given Sh3 million for education bursaries.

Edited by Pamela Wanambisi