Senator roots for direct funding for County Assemblies

Machakos Senator Boniface Kabaka now wants County Assemblies funded directly from the National Treasury instead of sending the funds to County Governments.

Senator Kabaka says a law should be enacted to allow such, a move he observes will reduce wrangles in majority of county governments with the executive.

Kabaka argued it was high time the Senate debated and passed a law to ensure county assemblies enjoyed full independence on matters of finance.

“The 2015 financial circular authorizes assemblies to operate their own accounts, but notes that without clear boundary, the route to disburse money to assemblies, the executive will always be tempted to treat the assembly like a department and not an independent entity,” the senator said in his address to Machakos County assembly yesterday evening.

The senator noted that there was a serious gap in the constitution to the effect that funds meant for the county assemblies are not expressly sent to the assembly as they must pass through the county revenue fund before they are disbursed.

“The County Executive Committee member for finance disburses the share to the assembly and it is at this point where there is a tug of war between the executive and the assembly more so in Machakos,” he claimed.

The Senator further accused the executive for deliberately placing bottlenecks to ensure the County Assembly is starved of much needed cash.

On his part, Majority Leader, Francis Ngunga has claimed Dr Governor Alfred Mutua had failed to disburse funds budgeted and approved for expenditure by the assembly for the 2017/18 financial year.

The senator noted that once a budget is approved by the county assembly and appropriation Act enacted, there is no other county authority that can alter, modify or change the budget other than the assembly itself through a supplementary appropriation Bill.

“As the elected senator for Machakos, I firmly state that 2017/18 Machakos County budget must be implemented.

The assembly shouldn’t be denied its rightful share of the budget as it is not subordinate to any other arm of the government, least of all the governor of Machakos,” said Kabaka who is also a constitutional lawyer.

But in a quick response to the accusations, Dr Mutua blamed the members of the county assemblies of being self-seekers while hiding in the guise of fighting for what is rightly theirs.

The leader who was addressing the press outside his office today claimed the County Assembly was out to blackmail the treasury to enable the members to fund lavish trips and earn unwarranted allowances.

“It is hypocritical for members of county assembly to claim the executive has withheld monies from them when I have already signed all their salaries, which they have failed to withdraw, since I turned down their demand for extra allowances .While they have every right to get funds from the treasury, this should not be used to sustain their lavish lifestyles,” he said.

Dr Mutua said he will use the last part of his term to continue his development agenda and would not allow anybody to stand between his projects regardless of his status.



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