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Funds for various projects reduced in Murang’a budget

Tuesday December 11 2018

Murang’a County Assembly

Muranga County Assembly members debating the supplementary budget on December 10, 2018. The MCAs revised the county's budget and reduced allocations to various departments. They called on the executive to tame its high recurrent expenditure. PHOTO | NDUNG'U GACHANE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

NDUNG’U GACHANE
By NDUNG’U GACHANE
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The Murang’a County Assembly Monday revised and realigned the Sh8.8 billion budget reducing allocations to several departments.

The Budget and Appropriations Committee has proposed a reduction of the allocation to the early childhood education feeding programme by Sh116 million.

The allocation has been slashed from Sh246 million to Sh130 million making the department a casualty of the budget review.

The proposed building of national stadium has also been dealt a major blow after the committee proposed to have its budget slashed from Sh25 million to Sh5 million. The controller of budget had questioned the basis on which the county allocated funds for a function of a national government.

The bursary programme, under the Education Support and Interventions Department, has also been affected after the committee slashed its budget from Sh34 million to Sh25 million.

COWS

Governor Mwangi Wa Iria's ambitious one-home-one-cow project was also not spared after its allocation of Sh105 million was reduced to only Sh5 million.

A budget for a heifer programme which had been awarded Sh30 million has been left with only Sh10 million.

The National Hospital Insurance Fund’s allocation which had been awarded Sh50 million will now strain after being left with Sh2 million.

Other services affected include the construction of garbage site and purchasing of a waste collection vehicle whose allocation has been slashed to zero from Sh8.5 million and Sh11 million respectively while the budget for the building of waste chambers was reduced from Sh7.5m to Sh2.5m.

However, the Health and Sanitation docket's allocation has been increased from Sh650 million to Sh742 million.

At the same time, the allocation for the Coffee Value Chain Development docket was increased from the Sh89 million to Sh104 million after the review.

EXECUTIVE

The executive’s recurrent budget has been increased by Sh121 million, that for Finance and Economic Planning by Sh16.7 million, public Service by Sh70 million, service board by Sh5 million and that of the county assembly by Sh100 million.

While discussing the motion, members warned the executive against altering and interfering with the budget.

The MCAs said the executive has been altering the budget to serve its interests.

Gaturi MCA Kiiru Mwangi said any move by Governor Wa Iria to alter the budget they had passed would make them seek the intervention of the Directorate of Criminal Investigations.

RECURRENT EXPENDITURE

Contributing to the motion on supplementary budget, Kimorori MCA Amos Murigi said there is need by the executive to control the recurrent expenditure that consumes the largest part of the budget.

“Makueni County government has managed a progress with utilisation of public funds to establish a modern hospital at cost of Sh135million,” he said, noting that Kirwara Sub-County Hospital stalled five years ago.

Gaturi MCA Cyrus Kiiru said any attempt by the executive to alter the budget will be resisted.

"The assembly had allocated Sh162 million for local travel and the same was diverted to other programmes, a move that reduced the effectiveness of the members in their oversight role and such acts should be reported to the DCI,” he said.

Budget and Appropriation Committee chairman Francis Kibe directed the executive member for Finance and Planning David Waweru to tame raising recurrent expenditure and allocate more funds to development programmes.

ITEMISE BUDGET

“It has also been a concern that budgets brought for approval are not itemised as the Public Finance Management Act demands,” said Mr Kibe.

In the 2018-2019 Sh8.8 billion budget, Sh4.9 billion will go to recurrent expenditure with development projects left with Sh3.8 billion.

Mr Kibe, who quoted a letter by the Controller of Budget dated October 26, castigated the executive for the legal anomalies found on the proposed budget.

Among the issues raised by the Controller of Budget were inclusion of recurrent items in the development budget, failure to indicate and budget for pending bills and delay in establishment of an emergency fund Bill to cater for unforeseen occurrence.

But he said the anomalies would be corrected in the supplementary budget which was later passed by the assembly.

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