Tharaka-Nithi Speaker, MCAs fly to Dubai amid budget uproar

Wednesday March 18 2020

Tharaka-Nithi County Assembly Majority Leader Godfrey Murithi when he defended 2018/2019 budget that has been criticised by deputy governor Nyamu Kagwima. He is among the five MCAs out of the county for a tour in Dubai. PHOOTO | ALEX NJERU | NATION MEDIA GROUP


Five Members of Tharaka-Nithi County Assembly and the Speaker left the county for Dubai on Sunday night amid uproar over 2018/2019 budget.

Speaker David Mbaya, his deputy and the Marimanti Ward Representative Susan Ngugi, Karingani MCA Godfrey Murithi (Majority Leader), Muthambi War Rep Wilson Nyaga (Minority Leader) Chogoria MCA Margaret Gitari (Whip) and Mariani MCA Erastus Kinyua are expected to stay in the Middle East country for about one week.

The tour has left a divided assembly with some arguing that the trip is a reward from the executive for passing an imbalanced budget that has favoured one region causing public outcry.

“This is a reward from the executive for passing a rogue budget that has divided the county and caused a lot of controversy,” said Mr Nyaga.

He said the trip’s budget for each of the MCAs is at least Sh0.5 million according to sources privy to the arrangements.

Governor Muthomi Njuki declined to comment on the matter and accused journalists of biasness in reporting on the controversial budget that has caused a rift between him and his deputy Nyamu Kagwima.

Mr Nyaga said the assembly clerk, Mr Martin Kariuki was compelled to take an earlier retirement as a result of the pressure from the executive and the Speaker because he was not comfortable with the allocations.

However, in an earlier statement to the Nation, Speaker Mbaya said the clerk who declined picking calls from journalists voluntarily opted for an earlier retirement.

“Mr Kariuki had attained the age of 55 years and decided to take an early retirement,” said Mr Mbabu.

Speaking on the issue of the budget that termed bad, Mr Kagwima accused the MCAs of wasting a lot of time in foreign trips and failing to read the document before passing it.

“I have always told MCAs to stop wasting a lot of time in tours and concentrate in their work,” said Mr Kagwima in a recent media address.

Members of the public have also faulted the MCAs for leaving the county when they are required to address the controversy surrounding the budget that has allocated Chuka/Igambang'ombe Constituency received Sh600 million, Maara Sh277 million and Tharaka Sh216 million for development.

The Speaker and the MCAs on the Dubai trip could not be reached for comment because their phones were off.