Kwale County Assembly has dealt the governor a blow after it rejected an allocation of Sh160 million for Covid-19 relief food.
Instead, the assembly on Tuesday redirected most of the money to health and spared the county executive a paltry Sh5 million for the food vote in the changes to the supplementary budget proposed by the governor.
Governor Salim Mvurya accused the assembly of playing politics in the decision to slash the Sh160 million meant to buy food for an estimated 500,000 vulnerable people to Sh5 million.
“The supplementary budget was sent to the assembly on April 16 but was passed on June 3 when the financial year was about to come to an end,” protested Mvurya yesterday.
On June 3, the MCAs hit at Mvurya when it approved a Sh80 million-vote for procurement of 10 ventilators for Msambweni Referral Hospital although the governor maintained there are already 12 ventilators.
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Speaker Sammy Ruwa, who has been at loggerheads with the governor, insisted the supplementary budget was brought to the assembly ‘wrongly’ and the funds could have been misused.
He said hunger should not be treated as an emergency for it to deserve Sh160 million for purchasing food while the county’s most pressing need is preparedness to fight Covid-19.
“Hunger should be treated as a programme instead of introducing an emergency fund. Hunger is not an emergency. We feel what we did as a county assembly was right for the people,” Ruwa said.
But the governor said it was clear the MCAs had sabotaged his plan to offer relief to residents and hence there will be no food assistance as a result of their insensitivity by passing the supplementary budget when the financial year was about to end meaning he cannot spend the money.