Murang’a County Assembly has approved Sh.8.7 billion 2020/2021 budget with a big portion of the funds allocated for recurrent expenditure.
In the budget tabled in the House last week on Tuesday by the Budget and Appropriation Committee Chaired by Ithiru MCA, Kibe Wasali, more resources were allocated to cater for salaries compared to the funds set aside for development.
In the budget estimates, Sh.5.6 billion was factored to cater for recurrent expenditure while Sh.3 billion was allocated to fast-track development programmes.
The MCAs expressed concerns saying in previous budgets, the executive deviated funds to cater for expenditures which were not factored in the estimates.
They warned the executive arm of the county government to strictly utilize the resources to intended purposes without deviation to other unrelated programmes.
The Gaturi MCA, Kiiru Mwangi said Murang’a county government diverted Sh.670 million in the 2019/2020 financial year and had provided no reasons to the assembly to that effect.
The members said it was ridiculous that allocations approved by the assembly were not what are uploaded in the Integrated Financial Management System (IFIMIS).
Seconding the motion, nominated MCA, Daina Muthoni said projects by the county government should be itemized claiming that Sh.100 million allocated to revive the coffee sector in the current budget had not been captured in earlier development reports.
In the budget, the health department got a bolster after Sh.200 million was allocated to fund construction of cancer hospital and another Sh.20 million was set to fund operations in the newly established Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at Murang’a County Referral Hospital.
Sh.150 million was allocated to Murang’a County Creameries (MCC) in Maragua to fund establishment of an additional milk processing line.
The assembly was informed of plans to transfer management of the milk plant to farmers’ cooperative societies.
In the budget, the department of water was allocated Sh.257 million to facilitate increase of water connections and sink of boreholes in some areas of the county which don’t receive adequate rainfall.
The Kimorori/Wempa MCA, Amos Murigi expressed concern over delayed salaries to county government employees, including MCAs saying it had subjected them to suffering and noted the budget did not explain how pending bills amounting to about Sh.540M would be settled.
“It is a pity that counties employees suffer over delayed salaries over unpaid pending bills, while the Controller of Budget should separate salaries from development allocation,” said Murigi.
He accused Kenya County Government Workers Union headquarters for being silent when its members were suffering following delayed salaries in many of the counties.
“There are MCAs in Murang’a and employees at county governments who by this time have not received their May salaries, yet they are expected to support their families,” observed Murigi.
He added that the county department for lands and housing had failed to explore ways to generate more revenue to the county from Delmonte and Kakuzi land companies.
By Bernard Munyao