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Busia residents demand accountability in budget allocation

Busia residents are questioning huge budget allocation to some projects that have not even kicked off since 2013 despite being funded every fiscal year.

Speaking during the public participation forum at the Agricultural Training Centre, Dickson Okumu a resident of Bunyala Sub-county questioned why the county government had allocated Sh 2 million for fencing of markets and another Sh 27.82 million for rehabilitation and constructions of new market. “Why do you allocate funds for construction of new markets yet those started back in 2013 are not operational?” said Okumu.

The issue sparked a heated debate at the forum with residents faulting the allocation of over Sh 8 million on cooperatives yet the Early Childhood Centres lack learning materials and quality infrastructure and furniture. They termed the budget as unrealistic, and excessive noting the trend had led to neglect of other projects which are equally important to them.

The County Chief Executive Officer of Finance and Economic Planning Ms Phaustine Barasa while opening the function urged the public to be free and air out their views as they will be included in the actual budget.

Phaustine Barasa addressing public during public Participate. Photo by Absalom Namwalo

“Budget is a consultative policy document that integrates the government plans and available estimated resources. The FY 2021/2022 and MTEF Budget has been prepared in compliance with the constitution of Kenya 2010 and the Public Finance Management Act 2012,” said Barasa.

The expected total expenditure for FY 2021/2022 is Sh 8.7 billion. The County government is expected to receive Sh 7.172 billion from the National government as equitable share and Sh 774.89 million as conditional grants.

The County government of Busia is projecting to raise Sh 799.6 Million as local revenue collection for the FY 2021/2022.

“The County treasury shall continue to enforce discipline in line with the provision of PFM Act, 2012 and provide all necessary support to departments during the implementation of the planned programmes,” added Barasa.

The exercise which was expected to last for two days saw different County Government Departments present their budget projections for the next financial year and reports on 2018/2019 financial year.

The County Executive in the Department of trade Ms Judith Maketso submitted the need for the department to be allocated enough resources to help in construction of more markets, create an information centre and boost Trade Development Fund to help small scale traders.

The Education County Chief Officer highlighted the plans to increase the number of ECDE centres, and incorporation of contract ECDE teachers on permanent terms.  He also said there are plans to equip 24 Polytechnics in the County and County HELB Loans to needy students to achieve their goals.

The department has a County Afya Education Fund for those students pursuing Nursing, Clinical Medicine and Radiographs courses.

John Mwami Chief Officer of Public Service and Administration explained plans by the department to construct Governor, Deputy Governor and Speaker residences for the FY 2021/2022. He also cited the plans for solar lighting installation at a cost of Sh 2.5 million and Sh 7.5 million for Construction of Malaba Bus Park.

The Health and Sanitation department has an allocation of Sh 2.3 billion, Infrastructure an estimate of Sh 677 million, County Assembly at Sh 879 million and Governorship Department estimate of Sh 494 million.

By Absalom Namwalo

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