Kiambu MCAs take on Waititu over ‘Kaa sober’ money

Thursday March 21 2019

Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu

Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu. MCAs want an explanation on how Sh356 million was used to finance his controversial rehabilitation programme dubbed “Kaa sober”. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

ERIC WAINAINA
By ERIC WAINAINA
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Between July and December 2018, the Kiambu County government spent over Sh356 million to finance operations of the controversial rehabilitation programme by Governor Ferdinand Waititu dubbed “Kaa sober”.

The programme was taking up Sh2 million per day without the approval of the county assembly.

This is contained in a supplementary budget which Governor Waititu’s administration wants ward reps to align with the expenditures for the period.

The project is partly attributed to a Sh1.034 billion "increase on basic salaries and wages”.

CONTROVERSY

According to the document by the Finance department and which has sparked controversy between the Executive and some MCAs, the “Kaa sober” kitty has been itemised under the administration and public service department and listed as “proposed increase in Kaa sober (Sh302, 956, 975).

The document, which has been signed by the County Finance Executive Kigo Njenga, further indicates that after the county did “adjustments after reallocation and prioritisation”, Sh56 million went to “proposed increase in training expenses in Kaa sober” under the education department.

According to Mr Kigo, who is the former MP of Gatundu North, the county spent the cash from other allocations, mostly salaries, a thing which is within the law, adding that through the supplementary budget, they intend to have the money refunded so that it can be used for the intended purpose.

SALARIES KITTY

“In the county, we have the salaries accounts, and so what we did is that we paid them (Kaa sober) from the salaries kitty. We have a vote for salaries up to June and because of that phenomena called “Kaa sober”, the salaries were used to pay the programme beneficiaries, therefore inflating the budgetary allocation for salaries. So within the next three months, we need to save expenses from other vote heads and take them to salaries,” Mr Njenga told the Nation.

STIPENDS

The beneficiaries of the programme were each earning stipends of Sh400 daily after doing manual jobs but when it was terminated, they got a Sh101.5 million send-off package with each pocketing Sh20,000.

The assembly is also expected to approve Sh66 million for “proposed increase in salary-contractual employees” under the Finance docket.

There is also a proposed increase in basic salary of Sh129 million, Sh105 million, Sh70 million and Sh61 million under the public administration, lands and planning, water and education respectively.

But ward reps say the county Finance executive must first explain how the money was spent before asking them to approve it.