- Sh62.5 billion remained idle at the counties' accounts at the Central Bank of Kenya.
- Citizens did not benefit from public resources with projects like roads and hospitals.
The latest report by the Controller of Budget has depicted how county governments failed to spend billions of shillings allocated for development programmes last year.
Of the Sh160.5 billion that county governors allocated for development, they managed to utilise Sh97.9 billion only between July 1, 2022 and June 31, 2023.
The net effect is that billions of shillings amounting to Sh62.5 billion remained idle at the counties' accounts at the Central Bank of Kenya.
The County Governments Budget Implementation and Review Report for the 2022-23 financial year has also exposed the irony of the billions allocated for development yet little is spent as taxpayers suffer.
Low absorption rates for the development mean that citizens did not benefit from public resources with projects like roads and hospitals affected during the last financial year.
Instructively, it was the first year in office for governors who were elected on August 9 but sworn in weeks later with big development dreams for their counties.
But governors have previously blamed inordinate delays in the disbursement of funds from the national government for lack of absorption capacity.
Five county governments had below 50 per cent absorption rate for their development budgets including Kisii, Kiambu, Nakuru, Busia and Machakos.
Governor Simba Arati's Kisii County had budgeted to spend Sh3.3 billion on development projects but spent only Sh457.8 million which represents 13.9 per cent of the allocation.
The county's absorption rate on recurrent expenditure was among the highest at 96.3 per cent of the Sh8 billion that was budgeted for.
This means that a total of Sh7.5 billion was absorbed from the recurrent budget.
Kiambu county, which was among the bottom five counties in the absorption of the development budget, spent Sh1.2 billion which represents 26.4 per cent of the Sh4 billion for development.
However, Kimani Wamatangi-led county's absorption rate for the recurrent vote stood at 81.5 per cent of the Sh13 billion allocated for the recurrent budget.
Wavinya Ndeti's Machakos county spent 42.5 per cent of the development budget of Sh3.7 billion in the last financial year.
Busia county spent Sh1.2 billion for development, representing 41.4 per cent of the total development budget allocated for the 2022-23 financial year.
The analysis of development expenditure as a proportion of the approved annual development budget shows that only West Pokot, Mandera, Samburu, Kericho, Nandi and Homa Bay counties had the highest absorption rates above 80 per cent.
Governor Simon Kachapin's West Pokot county had the highest absorption rate, spending Sh2.1 billion of the Sh2.4 billion that was allocated for development in the last financial year.
This represents a rate of 89 per cent, being the top county in utilising money budgeted for development.
The county also had a good balance with recurrent expenditure, spending Sh5.1 billion of the total Sh5.2 billion that was allocated in the 2022-23 financial year.
This represented a rate of 98.5 per cent.
Mandera county utilitised Sh3.6 billion from its development budget of Sh4.2 billion, representing 85.3 per cent of the total budget.
Samburu county, which also made it to the top five counties that utilised the development budget above the 80 per cent mark, spent Sh1.8 billion, representing a rate of 84.1 per cent.
Kericho county spent Sh2.1 billion, representing a rate of 83.4 per cent of the Sh4.5 billion that was budgeted for development programmes.