MCAs deny Waiguru cash in supplementary budget

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2020 21:00 |
Governor Anne Waiguru. Photo/PD/FILE

Githinji Mwangi

Members of the Kirinyaga County Assembly have continued to flex their muscles in their political duel with Governor Anne Waiguru after they slashed her budget by Sh20 million.

The MCAs particularly rejected the allocation of Sh90 million to buy furniture for her office.

According to Budget Committee chairman David Mathenge, ward-based projects and the fight against Covid-19 pandemic are the biggest beneficiaries of fresh re-allocation of funds following the approval of the amended Kirinyaga County Appropriation Bill, 2020 by the Assembly.

Mathenge said the Sh90 million had been reallocated to more pressing issues such as building bridges in parts of the county.

“We decided to remove all the money allocated for furniture to more compelling and urgent issues.

We can’t have a situation where a governor is given money for luxury,” he said.

He added that the new budget cuts will see the recurrent expenditure of the County Executive reduce from Sh541 million to Sh525 million.

Besides the budget war, Governor Waiguru is facing an impeachment motion by the MCAs who accuse her of presiding over a corrupt administration.

The governor has dismissed the claims and accused the ward reps of being used by powerful forces keen to have her removed from office.

In a statement after the Assembly vote, Waiguru protested the new allocations, saying her supplementary budget was meant to factor in cash for the coronavirus fight.    

“The Supplementary Budget was meant to accommodate Sh20 million to be used for putting in place mitigation measures against coronavirus in the county.

However, instead of passing the budget, the Assembly went ahead to re-allocate Sh100 million earlier allocated to Kerugoya Hospital Complex and another Sh30 million allocated to fuel used for in-house roads programmes and allocated them to ward-based projects,” she said.

“We had presented supplementary budget to accommodate funds to help in the management of Covid-19 but now the MCAs have become a stumbling block by introducing amendments in the budget to allocate more funds to themselves. Playing politics with the budget is detrimental to service delivery to the people of Kirinyaga”.

Ensure equity

“I call on the MCAs to put aside their selfish interests and consider what is beneficial to Kirinyaga residents,” she said.

Leader of the Majority James Murango said the changes to the budget were meant to address favouritism by the Governor in support of wards led by her loyalists.

“We want to ensure equity in development; we can’t have only few individuals getting development after passing (the governor’s) loyalty test while others are denied development,” he said.

“We have also set aside Sh25 million for bursary for needy children unlike before where the governor allocated Sh10 million.”

The amended budget now will see development projects in the 20 electoral wards receive Sh300 million to be utilised before the current financial year ends on June 30.

The Sh20 million set aside to step up measures against the spread of Covid-19 is expected to be channeled to purchase protective gears, sanitisers and masks.

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