The Kisumu County government is scrutinising demands by the county assembly on the 2019-2020 budget with a view to ending an ensuing stalemate.
The executive through Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o’s Communications Director Aloyce Ager, confirmed that they received the said demands from the MCAs two days ago and is doing all it can to unlock the budget stalemate that has threatened to cripple activities in Kisumu.
Among others, the MCAs said they will not approve the Sh10 billion budget estimates if the executive fails to provide the county assembly with closing balances and a list of pending bills as at June 30, 2019.
They are also demanding that Prof Nyong’o’s government furnishes the assembly with a list of all the flagship projects earmarked for the 2019-2020 financial year and a list of all conditional grants and their supporting documents.
“Our focus is very clear because we want a budget that will put our county on a growth trajectory. We do not wish to be drawn into issues that are not pertinent to this budget making process,” Majority Leader Ken Onyango said Thursday.
Mr Ager said the county executive is committed to ending the impasse, saying by the end of the week, they will have done part of what the assembly is demanding.
“As we speak, payments are going on and the request to have a list of pending bills will be ready once we close the system in the next 48 hours. We will be able to compile (a list of) those who have been paid and those who we are still owing,” said the governor’s communications director.
On conditional grants, Mr Ager said the agreements with the partners are in public domain.
But the executive differed with the assembly on requests to have some of the funds diverted to other projects.
The county government rejected the proposal, saying the terms and conditions of the conditional grants are clear.
“By next week we will be able to consolidate all the information the assembly is looking for. The few that will need a Cabinet to be convened will be dealt with in that manner,” said Mr Ager.
Governor Nyong’o is away in China on official duties with two of his executive members.
The Kisumu MCAs have maintained that they will not bow to any tactics by the executive to arm-twist them to approve a faulty budget.
They spoke as allegations of corruption emerged in the row pitting the two arms of the Kisumu government.
Deputy Governor Mathew Owili is now questioning the integrity of Speaker Onyango Oloo, saying he is not fit to hold the position since he is currently facing graft accusations by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission.
The assembly on the other hand has hit back at Dr Owili, saying he similarly lacks moral authority to talk about corruption as he has been previously mentioned in other scandals.
Mr Oloo was arrested on June 4 this year and questioned over an alleged misappropriation of Sh4.2 billion, funds used in building the Lake Basin Development Authority Mall during his tenure as the chairman of the authority.
According to the deputy governor, Mr Oloo’s questionable integrity has also been displayed in a report by the office of the Auditor General, which gave the County Assembly of Kisumu an adverse opinion.