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Sabotage claims as Waiguru vows not to approve budget

Tuesday July 14 2020
waigu pic

Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By GEORGE MUNENE

Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru has vowed that she will not approve the County's 2020/2021 budget after it was altered by Ward representatives, marking the latest battlefront in the ongoing war between MCAs and the county boss.

She accused MCAS of plotting to sabotage the operations in the county, terming the budget changes as illegal.

Ms Waiguru wondered how Ward representatives expected the Executive to operate effectively with such a budget.

"The County Executive presented the Financial Year 2020/2021 proposed budget to the County Assembly for approval. Instead of approving the budget, the Assembly submitted a completely new budget with a variation of over 30 percent per vote, going against the requirement of Regulation 37(1) of the Public Finance (County Government) Regulations 2015 which limits the assembly variations to 1 percent of the  ceilings," she said.

INTERVENTION FROM JUBILEE

The Governor is now appealing to the Senate, Controller of Budget and the national Jubilee leadership to intervene to save the County from grinding to a halt.

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At the same time, she challenged the MCAs to reconsider their actions and put the interest of Kirinyaga residents first.

"Apart from this being illegal, I cannot approve the specific alterations done to the budget."

'UNACCEPTABLE'

For instance, she accuses the Assembly of allocating Sh300 million meant to pay salaries for health workers to construction of ward offices.

"This is completely unacceptable given that health workers have put their lives on the line to fight against the Covid-19 pandemic and that it would further put the lives of residents in danger," she said in a statement yesterday.

"The Assembly also removed Sh14.6 million for fuel for ambulances, water bills and oxygen for hospitals, dealing a big blow to the health sector. This is unacceptable since it means paralysing operations in our critical health sector," she added.

Further, she noted that the Assembly had removed Sh20 million meant for payment of casual workers’ wages who are critical in cleaning the environment and health facilities.

Further she took issue with MCAS for removing the county's Sh59 million legal fee, saying the decision will hamper the executive's efforts in pursuing 200 court cases touching on recovery of irregularly acquired public land.

The County can't pay taxes it owes to the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), she said, as Sh50 million allocated for payment was removed and diverted to other purposes.

"This is total contravention of the law and we may be penalised by KRA," Ms Waiguru lamented.

She expressed concern that over 68,000 farmers may suffer as Sh50 million factored into the budget for revitalisation of the coffee sector was removed.

The clash over the budget comes just weeks after the MCAs' bid to oust Ms Waiguru was thwarted by Senate

They have since filed a petition challenging the Senate Special Committee decision that cleared the Governor of any wrongdoing after she was impeached.

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