Ward reps now query Sh396m allocation

Ward representatives have questioned a Sh396 million allocation in the 2019-20 budget made to pay the taxman and a health insurance provider.

Yesterday in the assembly, the Budget and Appropriation Committee said the Finance and Public Service Management departments had failed to produce documents to explain the allocation.

According to committee chairman Linus Asiba, Finance Executive Phaustine Barasa had requested Sh115 million to settle Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) dues, while Public Service Management (PSM) department headed by Janet Manyasi had requested Sh281 million to pay a health insurer.

The committee recommended to the assembly that the amount requested by the Finance department be reduced to Sh29 million, while the PMS request be reduced to Sh115 million.

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Caved in

The reductions prompted Governor Sospeter Ojaamong to write a memorandum to Speaker Bernard Wamalwa, seeking reinstatement of slashed amounts.

Mr Ojaamong threatened not to assent to the Supplementary Appropriation Bill, 2019 if his demands were not met.

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On Wednesday, MCAs debated the governor's memorandum and caved in to his demands. However, even after allowing the allocations to pass, MPs are questioning how the departments came to demand such huge amounts.

An MCA, Azida Ali wondered how it was possible for an insurer to demand such an amount to cover the county's small workforce.

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She also questioned why it was difficult for Barasa and Manyasi to produce documents. Aziba further said it was questionable that KRA could make such a tax demand without documents that can be produced at the county assembly.

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MCAsKRATaxSupplementary Appropriation Bill2019