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County assemblies call for budget ceilings review, allege Sh4.4b deficit

BUSINESS
By Roselyn Obala | June 9th 2015
By Roselyn Obala | June 9th 2015
BUSINESS

NAIROBI, KENYA: Thirty four County Assemblies have petitioned the Senate over the proposed budget ceilings by the Commission of Revenue Allocation (CRA), which they argue will result in a deficit of Sh 4.4 billion.
The County Speakers Forum (CAF) has now appealed to the Senate through the Finance committee to intervene on the matter, cautioning that if nothing is done, assemblies' operations might stall.
County Speakers and clerks who appeared before the committee yesterday at Parliament Buildings, main Senate chamber expressed their frustrations in meeting counties operational costs and salaries for Members of the County Assemblies (MCAs).
The assemblies censured CRA for putting a blanket 30 percent budget ceiling on its recommended assemblies' expenditure, without considering the peculiar scenarios each county face.
" The recommended budget ceilings has resulted in various variations, which should be corrected or the assemblies will be handicapped in discharging their oversight, legislation and representation mandate as stipulated in law," said Nyandarua speaker Ndegwa Wahome.
He continued, "With limited resources we will be unable to undertake public participation, capacity building of MCAs and staff (drafting legislations), pay legal fees, gratuity, hold committee sittings and cater for domestic travels."
According to Wahome, 34 assemblies have issues with the budget ceilings and blamed CRA for pegging its proposals on constant figures for all counties irrespective of their needs.
Session chair Mutula Kilonzo Junior (Makueni), senators Peter Mositet (Kajiado), Wilfred Machage (Migori) Zipporah Kittony (Nominated) and Agnes Zani (Nominated) sought to know from the forum, the estimated percent that would satisfy their expenses.
Dr Machage, Kilonzo Jnr and Dr Zani proposed an additional ten percent, which Nairobi County Assembly Clerk Jacob Ngwele argued might not be sufficient for some counties like Nairobi.

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