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Kajiado budget stalemate over accountability threatens development

Kajiado county assembly deputy speaker Joseph Masiaya spoke exclusively to the Star over the budget standoff with the executive on Tuesday.
KKajiado county assembly deputy speaker Joseph Masiaya spoke exclusively to the Star over the budget standoff with the executive on Tuesday.over the budget standoff with the executive on Tuesday.
This now means Kajiado county government and its legislative arm, the county assembly, will not receive the proposed Sh10 billion in this year’s budget but half of last year’s Sh9 billion under Cautionary Account.

A standoff between the executive and the Kajiado county assembly over issues of accountability has forced MCAs not to approve the 2021/2022 financial budget.

This now means Kajiado county government and its legislative arm, the county assembly, will not receive the proposed Sh10 billion in this year’s budget but half of last year’s Sh9 billion under Cautionary Account.

Deputy Speaker and Magadi MCA, Joseph Masiaya, in an exclusive interview, said: “If the MCAs fail to approve the budget presented by the executive, the county is allowed by law to expend 50 per cent of the previous budget for essential services only.

Caution Account

“That amount will be provided by the national treasury under the Caution Account, and the amount is only meant for salaries and very essential services,” said Masiaya.

Masiaya said this means that the county will only be legible to spend Sh4.5 billion to pay staff salaries and any other essential services without development.

He said the more than 40 MCAs at the assembly are concerned that for the last three financial years, they have been approving annual budgets but no tangible development projects are initiated on the ground.

“We are concerned that the national treasury releases all the money that we passed in all the previous budgets and yet the pending bills are still staring at the county every year,” said Masiaya.

No Plan

The deputy speaker said the 2020/2021 budget has also not been implemented according to the plan, and, therefore, MCAs require an explanation from the executive on the same.

“How come we are getting pending bills every year that suppliers, advertisers and all those who provide services to the county have not been paid and yet we allocate them money?” asked Masiaya.

Nominated MCA, Onesmus Ngogoyo, said in the 2020/21 financial budget, Sh1.7 billion was set aside for development and no project was initiated with the money.

Demands

“The treasury paid all the money (100 per cent) that was asked by the county but we are demanding where the money for development and pending bills went to,” said Ngogoyo.

The MCAs are also concerned that while the law allows the county to maintain a wage bill of 35 per cent, the county executive has a wage bill of about 45 per cent.

“If the county will now resort to Caution Account, it means that some services will not be provided because of the huge wage bill in place.

Our effort to reach out to the county finance minister, Alais Kisota, to explain some of the issues raised by the MCAs hit a hitch when he did not pick our calls or respond to messages.

 

 

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