alexa Alarm after report reveals Taita Taveta spent Sh143m on trips - Daily Nation

Alarm after report reveals Taita Taveta spent Sh143m on trips

Sunday January 20 2019

Taita Taveta Governor Granton Samboja

Taita Taveta Governor Granton Samboja addresses staff, during the county induction session on development projects, at the Kenya School of Government in Mombasa, January 17, 2019. PHOTO | LABAN WALLOGA | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

LUCY MKANYIKA
By LUCY MKANYIKA
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Taita Taveta County is on the spot for being ranked top in spending on trips in the first quarter of 2018/19 financial year.

A report by the auditor-general says the executive and the assembly used Sh143.53 million on both foreign and domestic trips.

The expenditure on domestic travel amounted to Sh119.08 million, Sh38.41 million by members of county assembly (MCAs) and Sh80.67 million by the executive.

The auditor-general noted that this figure was 176.4 percent higher than what was spent in the similar period the previous year.

RESPONSE

Reached for comment on the spending, county finance executive Vincent Masawi said he was not in a position to verify the auditor-general's report.

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“I cannot access the data right now,” he said.

Senator Jones Mwaruma asked MCAs to keep the executive in check by demanding accountability for all spending.

“We are among the lowest earners of the equitable revenue share by the national government. I intend to petition the Senate to look into the trips to see what value they bring our county,” he said.

PROTEST

Traders who spoke to the Nation raised concerns about little spending on development, Patrick Itonga pointing out that the trips have not yielded fruits.

“We want to see development. I feel these trips are for them to earn allowances,” he said.

Another trader, Moses Mwang'ombe, said the MCAs have failed in oversight and accused them of laxity and protecting the executive.

“Why aren't they summoning county executives who are failing the government? It means they are in it together,” he said, adding some of the laws passed at the assembly are punitive to the electorate.

He cited last year’s Finance Act that raised various rates and resulted in protests.

“Most of the assembly's actions appear to favour the county executive. The Finance Act, 2018 is one of the punitive laws they passed without considering that it will kill businesses."

Health workers in Taita Taveta have threatened to strike in February due to non payments of their allowances.

Migori (Governor Okoth Obado) and Nairobi (Governor Mike Sonko) came after Taita Taveta, with Sh135.48 and shsh127.46 respectively. 

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