Governor Munya dismisses Controller of Budget’s report on debt crisis in counties

Sunday March 20 2016

Meru Governor Peter Munya receives a donation

Meru Governor Peter Munya receives a donation from County Executive for Sports Joy Muriungi during a fundraiser on March 18, 2016. Mr Munya has challenged the Controller of Budget Agnes Odhiambo to make public the national government's pending bills as she did with the counties. PHOTO | PHOEBE OKALL | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By DICKSON MWITI
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The Council of Governors (CoG) has challenged Controller of Budget Agnes Odhiambo to make public the national government's pending bills as she did with the counties.

Addressing a public rally at Ntunene grounds in Igembe North during a public participation forum on Saturday, CoG Chairman Peter Munya said the move by Ms Odhiambo to target counties was unfair and meant to reduce allocations to the devolved units.

In a statement to the Senate tabled on Wednesday, Ms Odhiambo told the House that financial reports by 45 counties, excluding Tana River and Busia which did not submit their reports, indicate that the devolved units were indebted to the tune of Sh37.46 billion by the close of the 2014/15 financial year.

However, Mr Munya claimed that the controller of budget was getting wrong information from the governors’ opponents.

“We know those who are spreading these rumours want the money to the counties to be reduced since the budget is already at the National Assembly level.

“If there are no politics in this issue, the Controller of Budget should also tell us the pending bills from the national government since every government has pending bills," he said.

SHOWED PROJECTS TO AUDITORS

Mr Munya said it was only after this move that Kenyans would be able to tell the most responsible level of government.

He cited the case of his county saying they took auditors to the ground to check all the projects they had initiated for authentication.

“The only authenticated pending bills in Meru County in 2014/15 financial year was Sh600 million and it was factored in this year's budget. The rest are just but stories with no evidence.

“You can't target one level of government and leave out the other," Mr Munya said.

He further absolved his county from the issue arguing that all the projects it initiated must be authenticated, thus the delay in paying the contractors.

“We have a motto in our county that you must work as per required standards for you to get the pay.

“This is public money and that is the reason for the delay for the sake of the auditors’ authentication, " he said.

He said no person of sane mind could allow people's money to be misused by people who were not ready to work.