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Coast counties pass their budgets

BY STANDARD TEAM 

Updated Monday,June 29th 2015 at 00:00 GMT +

Optimism and clashes between county executives and local assemblies marked the passing of the 2015/2016 budgets for devolved units at the Coast. Taita Taveta Governor John Mruttu has threatened not to sanction the budget after members of the county assembly (MCAs) slashed the executive’s vote. Sunday, Mr Mruttu termed the decision of the MCAs to reallocate more than Sh290 million from the executive to the Ward Development Fund as mischievous and out to cripple operations of his office. “It is not logical at all for the MCAs to interfere with the executive budget as this will compromise the operations of the government.

The slashing of the executive budget will not only have negative effects on the salaries, employment and promotion of the workers, but also service delivery to the electorate,” said the governor. Addressing a prayer service at the Moi Stadium in Voi town Sunday, Mr Mruttu called on religious leaders to pray for his government. The governor said the worst affected departments include devolved functions such as Health and Early Childhood Development. Mruttu said his administration had no funds to currently pay salaries for the health workers and ECD teachers. He said plans to employ new nurses and doctors to help improve healthcare had been compromised by the county assembly. “I will not accept to have my budget interfered with. We will go for negotiation this week to find an amicable solution to the problem, failure to which I will not append my signature to the budget estimates,” he warned. The county assembly budget and appropriation committee chairperson Arresmus Mwarabu and Deputy Majority Leader Hope Sanguli Mwakio confirmed that they had slashed the executive budget. But Mr Mwarabu accused the executive of illegally reallocating money for the recurrent budget to the development account. And the Mombasa County government has announced an ambitious programme to raise Sh5.2 billion from local sources after forming a new department for that purpose in order to free money for expenditure on health and infrastructure.

Mombasa County Assembly approved the Sh10.9 billion budget with county executive committee member Hazel Koitaba projecting on Friday that the devolved government will raise Sh5.2 billion from local sources in the 2015/2016 financial years, a marked improvement from Sh2.2 billion in the last financial year. She disclosed the Mombasa County government had established Mombasa Revenue Directorate charged with administration and management of revenue. The county government expects to receive Sh5.9 billion from the national government to finance the 2015/2016 budget amounting to Sh10.9 billion. Kilifi county assembly has voted to spend Sh3.3 billion on development projects out of its Sh9.1 billion budget for the 2015/16 financial as proposed by the executive. According to the budget estimates, Sh2.4 billion has been allocated for the medical/health sector with Sh407 million allocated for projects in this area. The Kilifi county assembly expects to receive Sh7.2 billion from the national government and Sh1.3 billion will be raised from local revenues. The Kilifi county government expects to generate Sh367,281.700 and Sh15,530,000 as donor funding from Danida. Sh5.8 billion will be spent on the recurrent budget in Kilifi in the 2015/2016 financial year. In Kwale, the county assembly slashed money for development and increased the amount for recurrent expenditure as it passed its Sh5.7 billion budget. The assembly, which rushed to beat the deadline, passed the budget on Saturday evening during a special sitting. While the Kwale executive had proposed recurrent expenditure of Sh2.771 billion, the assembly increased it to Sh2.834 billion. The legislative house in Kwale also reduced development expenditure from Sh2.958 billion to Sh2.951 billion. The county government plans to collect Sh300 million locally to supplement the Sh5.43 billion from the national government to run its operations

The assembly members lauded the budget as citizen-driven since it has majored on projects they expect to be implemented in their respective areas. The health sector received the lion’s share of Sh1.4 billion, followed by education sector with Sh963,582,711 million while county assembly got Sh703,815,800. Agriculture got Sh433 million, a drop from the Sh490 million which it got in the last fiscal year. “Finance and economic planning got Sh328 million, Water services Sh326 million, community development Sh235 million,” read the report. Other sectors include infrastructure and public works which got Sh318 million, public service Sh226 million, executive Sh214 million, trade and co-operative development Sh203 million, tourism and ICT Sh143 million and Sh45 million for county public service board. GO TO