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Vihiga Governor Ottichilo, MCAs go for retreat in Mombasa

Thursday June 6 2019

Vihiga Governor Wilber Ottichilo who, together

Vihiga Governor Wilber Ottichilo who, together with his executive and the 38 MCAs, is in Mombasa for a five-day retreat supposedly to discuss the Sh5.5 billion 2019/2020 budget before it is approved by the assembly. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

DERICK LUVEGA
By DERICK LUVEGA
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Vihiga Governor Wilber Ottichilo, his executive and the 38 MCAs are in Mombasa for a five-day retreat supposedly to discuss the Sh5.5 billion 2019/2020 budget before it is approved by the assembly.

The retreat-cum-bonding session that is expected to cost the Vihiga taxpayer millions of shillings in per diems and accommodation starts on Thursday June 6 and ends on June 10.

The assembly resumes from recess on June 11 when the budget is expected to be approved.

The budget has already gone through public participation.

REPORT

After the bonding, members of the Board and Appropriation Committee will remain at the Coast to write a report to be presented to the House for deliberations.

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Majority Whip Victor Ijaika confirmed the Mombasa retreat.

"It's a yearly performance review and budget negotiation with the executive. The main aim is to review our 2018/2019 performance and share the challenges then plan for the 2019/2020 financial year with focus on the ward level,” said Mr Ijaika.

He went on, "The governor and his executive will be attending. This activity (bonding and retreat) was planned during the bonding we held in Eldoret last year."

RETREAT CRUCIAL

He said the session is Mombasa is fundamental as it will enable MCAs acquaint themselves with the draft budget.

Before this, the draft was subjected to two public participation fora, one led by the executive and another by the assembly where residents gave their views.

During the public hearings held in April, the public opposed a plan by the county to procure more land at Sh41.5 million.

The county wants to boost its land bank in addition to buying more to build more health facilities.

EQUIP HOSPITALS

But locals instead asked Governor Ottichilo’s administration to channel the funds towards completing and equipping stalled hospitals in the county.

They called for more allocation to the Trade department that is expected to give out soft loans for businesses through the Sh100 million county empowerment fund.

The highest allocation of Sh1.5 billion has been proposed to go to the crucial health sector with the least amount of Sh39.1 million going to the county public service board.

The assembly has been allocated the second highest amount of Sh593.7 million, coming days after its leadership complained that the House budget is overstretched, thus affecting their operations.

Another Sh391.6 million will go to the Agriculture department.

The Education department will get Sh521.7 million, Sports (Sh193.3 million), Trade (Sh137 million), Water (Sh340.6 million, Transport and Infrastructure (Sh460.9 million) and Lands (Sh515.8 million).