The County Assembly has warned the Executive against attempts to undermine its oversight mandate through budgetary cut threats.
Members took issue with a proposal by Governor Alex Tolgos to reduce the MCAs' budget by Sh120 million, terming it misinformed.
Tolgos had, in a hard-hitting statement, slammed the Ward Reps for spending Sh566 million to oversight the Executive’s Sh800 million development budget.
Speaker Philemon Sabulei yesterday described the governor’s proposal as unfortunate and aimed at frustrating the MCAs in a plot to derail its oversight role.
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“The governor and the executive do not have the power to determine or allocate ceilings to the county assembly. That work is done by the Commission on Revenue Allocation and approved by the Senate,” Mr Sabulei said.
According to the Speaker, the governor was arm-twisting the assembly by inciting the public against it through malicious information.
The war of words between the two arms of the county was sparked by remarks by President Uhuru Kenyatta at the Devolution Conference in Kirinyaga County last week, when he pointed out that one county assembly in Kenya was spending Sh600 million to oversight Sh800 million. Later Mr Tolgos hinted that the Head of State had been referring to his county.
“We also wish to tell the governor that the county assembly is an arm of the county government and not a department which he can micromanage and sabotage,” the Speaker told journalists in Iten.
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He added: “He (Tolgos) craves to see the oversight role of the county assembly dysfunctional by reducing its allocation – the ultimate objective being to manipulate and compromise the oversight by the assembly.”
Sabulei defended the assembly’s Sh566 million budget, saying the amount is approved by CRA, which caps county assembly budget at 10 per cent of county total annual budget, which for Elgeyo Marakwet is Sh5.6 billion.