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Sh2.4 billion budget in limbo after veto

By Erastus Mulwa | Published Wed, May 23rd 2018 at 09:14, Updated May 23rd 2018 at 09:16 GMT +3
Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya and his Machakos counterpart Alfred Mutua in Mumias. Dr Mutua has rejected a Sh2.4 billion supplementary budget passed by MCAs. [Chrispen Sechere, Standard].

In summary

  • Supplementary budget in limbo as MCAs fail to veto Mutua’s memorandum
  • Governor Mutua rejects spending plan, saying some sections offend the law, but MCAs fail to overturn his decision

The fate of Sh2.4 billion supplementary budget passed three weeks ago hangs in the balance after MCAs failed to veto a memorandum by the governor rejecting it.

Governor Alfred Mutua rejected the Bill and referred it back to the county assembly for amendment, saying some of the proposals offended the law.

MCAs met to discuss Dr Mutua's memorandum, dated May 9, but could not overturn his decision.

During acrimonious debate that lasted the entire Monday afternoon, the MCAs failed to raise the required vote of two thirds to overrule the governor's decision to reject some proposals in the supplementary budget.

The county assembly had passed the contentious budgetthree weeks ago.

The special sitting, convened by the speaker, Florence Mwangangi, was meant to debate Mutua's memorandum in which he explained why he could not assent to the supplementary budget as passed by MCAs.

Mutua said the Bill was inconsistent with the law.

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Invoking Section 24 (2) (b) of the County Governments Act (2012), Mutua said the Machakos County Supplementary Appropriation Bill (2018), as passed by MCAs, contravened the Public Finance Management Regulations (2015).

“The county assembly has the sacred role of legislation, oversight and representation. It is my considered view that by listing specific projects within a Bill, the assembly will be intruding into the arena of implementation,” Mutua said.

The MCAs were divided along party lines. Those allied to Wiper supported the veto while Maendeleo Chap Chap loyalists opposed the motion.

In the end, Wiper garnered 34 votes against 22. County assembly majority leader Francis Ngunga abstained.

Ms Mwangangi later declared that the supplementary budget was ‘in a limbo’ and set June 5 as the date for further deliberations, when the assembly reconvenes after a recess.

The development elicited mixed reactions from residents and politicians, who called for a truce between the executive and the legislature over the matter.

“The executive and the county assembly must find a middle ground for the sake of the common man. They should set aside their interests and conduct business in the best interest of the electorate,” said former Yatta MP Francis Mwangangi. 

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