County govts to receive 50pc of their budget

By Marion Kanari

High Court has ordered National Treasury to release 50% of the budget estimates to counties for the 2014/2015 financial year.

Majority of the Counties have failed to approve budgets in protest to the financial ceiling that has been set by the Commission of Revenue Allocation and controller of budget limiting their extravagant expenses.

The 47 counties who have moved to court seeking to quash the directive by the Commission of Revenue Allocation (CRA) and Controller of Budget limiting their extravagant expenses have been given a temporary reprieve by the High Court, after Justice Isaac Lenaola directed that the National Treasury release 50% of the budget estimates to counties for the 2014/2015 financial year.

In the meantime the Commission on Revenue Allocation and the Salaries and the Remuneration Commission will have to file their responses to the grievances of the Members of the County Assembies MCAs.

The MCAs want treasury to release funds without CRA setting caps on their budgets and allowances. The assemblies say that circulars issued in April and July this year limiting their spending are against the spirit of the constitution.

This even as reports by the controller of budget indicates that the county assemblies are directing funds to activities outside their mandate.

The MCAs will be back in court on 29th August when the case is mentioned.

Elsewhere, at a media briefing held in their Chambers, the Kirinyaga County Assembly members are accusing the controller of budget Agnes Odhiambo of  misleading Kenyans over their budget spending and priorities.

Led by the county assembly budget committee chairman, David Mathenge, the MCA’s said that as any other assembly in the country they are justified and obligated to bench mark with other assemblies across the country to be able to initiate development projects in their county.

The MCAs argued that they also needed room to engage with the national assembly on the same issue.

Meanwhile, civil servants working in the county have been urged not to participate in a proposed strike by the union and that their salaries will be paid on time.

Assembly deputy speaker James Kinyua Mutugi remarks comes after Kenya union of civil servant Kirinyaga branch issued a strike notice to the county if their salaries were not paid by August 5th.UPPS;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;; This comes even as the controller of budget Agnes Odhiambo rejecting to approve Kirinyaga County 2014/15 budget pending resolution of contentious issues in their assembly and county executive. yesterday the chairman of the governors council warned of a financial crisis following delays by the national assembly to approve the division of revenue bill.