Governors want County budget increased from Sh210 billion to Sh258 billion

By Antony Gitonga 

NAIVASHA, KENYA: The Council of Governors now want more budgetary allocation and have demanded for new offices in Nairobi for all the 47 governors.

The leaders said that they wanted funding to the counties increased from the current Sh210 billion to Sh258 billion.
They warned that crucial services in the counties could stall if the money was not factored in the budget.

According to the Governors Council chairman Isaac Rutto, the current allocation would only see ordinary services rendered and not the devolved ones.

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 “The funds that we have already been allocated are meant for delivery of normal services as well as salaries and we want more allocation for counties to function properly,” he said.
Rutto who is also the Bomet Governor demanded that each governor get an office in Nairobi for easier transaction of duties.

“We have one office for the governors’ summit in Jogoo house in Nairobi and we are demanding better offices for all the 47 governors,” he said.

He said the state had an oversight control over the counties which was against the constitution as they were supposed to work independently.

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“You cannot talk about devolution with the state controlling 86 percent of the total expenditure and yet  70 percent of government functions have been devolved to the counties,”

The chairman said a circular sent to them indicated the counties were supposed to get 14 percent of the budget allocations and questioned the criteria that were used.

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“They are basing it on the 2011-2012 fiscal year budget where the estimates were lower than the current Sh1.6 trillion and this should be changed”.

Rutto was speaking to the press during a workshop for governors on understanding devolution under the constitution organized by the commission for the implementation of the constitution (CIC) at a Naivasha hotel.

On his part Nakuru Governor Kinuthia Mbugua expressed concern that the current financial year was ending and yet only 40 percent of the funds had been availed to them.

“Kenyans have high expectations on us to deliver what we pledged to them but we do not have funds to carry out this projects,” he said.

His sentiments were echoed by his Makueni Counterpart Kibutha Kibwana who said there were some ‘teething’ problems that needed to be rectified.

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“The county assemblies are supposed to pass our budget yet most of them have no knowledge of financial management”.

Tana River Governor Hussein Dado accused the government of allocating Sh1 billion to all counties for ECD’s yet they had not put infrastructural mechanisms.

“They have not even sent a single cent to cater for security and yet they are some few functions that have been devolved”.

The chairman CIC Charles Nyachae admitted that there were some emerging challenges facing the governors and hence the meeting.

“The major challenges emerging are on transition mainly between central and county governments and county budget,” he said.

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Kivutha Kibwana Isaac Ruto Charle Nyachae CIC