Samboja clashes with County Assembly members for slashing executive budget

Members of the county assembly have slashed the Executive budget, putting the two arms of government on collision course.

The ward representatives approved a fiscal paper that recommended slashing the funds and re-allocating them to the Ward Equalisation Fund.

During a session chaired by Speaker Meshack Maganga, 24 ward representatives ganged up and clawed back Sh435 million from eight departments.

The MCAs rejected a memorandum from the Executive which warned that cutting its budget would have serious repercussions on project implementation and service delivery to the residents.

“This House adopts and approves the report of the Budget, Finance and Appropriations Committee on scrutiny of the County Fiscal Strategy Paper laid on the table of the House and its recommendations thereof.

“This is notwithstanding the memo by the Finance and Planning executive received on March 28,” said the report.

The Ward Equalisation Fund will now receive Sh650 million instead of the Sh400 million that had been allocated earlier.

Departments that have seen their budgets slashed include Agriculture, Tourism Delivery Service, Gender and Culture, Education and Libraries, Finance and Economic Planning, Lands, Mining and Environment.

Mata ward representative Chanzu Khamadi said the additional funds would be better spent funding development projects in the wards, adding that this would ensure locals “enjoyed the fruits of devolution”.

“The governor has been going round commissioning projects implemented by the Ward Equalisation Fund at the grass root level. It would be illogical for the Executive to reduce the ward development budget for their own benefit,” said Mr Khamadi.

The county has set aside Sh3.6 billion and Sh1.5 billion as recurrent and development expenditure in the current financial year.

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Executive budgetSpeaker Meshack MagangaTaita Taveta County Assembly