The stalemate over the signing of the 2019/2020 Elgeyo Marakwet county budget has finally been resolved paving way for the payment of salaries and provision of other basic services.
According to a statement from the Commission of Revenue Allocation, the Governor Alex Tolgos will now sign financial warrants to allow the county to access funds to immediately pay workers’ salaries and purchase essential utilities like drugs.
The statement signed by the governor and leader of majority, Nathan Chelang’a said that once the Division of Revenue Act (DORA) and County Allocation Revenue Act (CARA) is passed, any additional funds to the county will go to address the budget deficit in the executive.
A technical committee comprising of two officials each from CRA, Office of the Controller of Budget (OCOB), County Executive and Assembly was formed to address the issues over this year’s budget within the next two weeks.
“The technical committee shall review the budget and address the deficit in the executive recurrent budget,” the statement said.
The governor had declined to assent to the 2019/2020 Appropriation Bill unless the county assembly cedes part of its budget to finance personnel emolument amounting to Sh.70 million and a further Sh.40 million for medical insurance.
The Assembly on its part refused to accommodate the governor’s amendments in the bill, saying they will not relinquish any of its allocations to the executive saying they needed the monies to oversight the executive.
Tolgos in reaction said he will not pay the July salaries and the subsequent months until the stalemate is resolved leading to the staff threatening to lay down their tools if their salaries are not paid by this week.
The governor thanked the staff and residents for their patience and promised them that normalcy in the delivery of services by the county government would resume soon.
“We are all eager to resume development projects and programmes and we should all support the technical team to address the issues as soon as possible,” the Governor said.
The mediations was led by the CRA chairperson Dr., Jane Kiringai, Joseph Tutula and Waweru Tuti (OCOB). Others who attended were Deputy Governor Wisley Rotich, Finance CEC, Isaac Kamar and Clerk to the Assembly Jane Mutai.
By Alice Wanjiru