Governors ask Senate to issue Sh42b grants

Council of Governors (COG) Chairman Martin Wambora. [Boniface Okendo, Standard]

The Council of Governors (CoG) has appealed to the Senate to release Sh42 billion conditional grants from the national government to governors, to enable them to implement County projects.

Speaking at a consultative forum organized by the CoG in Meru and attended by CoG Chairman Martin Wambora, CEO Mary Mwiti, and Meru Governor Kiraitu Murungi, the Senate was urged to play its role and release the monies.

“We have initiated a lot of projects in the 47 counties because we were led to believe conditional grants totalling Sh42 billion are going to be released to us this year,” Kiraitu said while pleading with Senate to expedite the process to enable them to implement projects.

In the meeting that was also attended by Senate Speaker Ken Lusaka and Senate Chairman of Devolution and Intergovernmental Relations Committee, Moses Kajwang, the Council said many projects they had pledged for residents depending on the cash transfer from the National Treasury remain undelivered.

Governor Kiraitu said delayed disbursement of the funds had put the governors’ re-elections bids in peril.

He added that unreliable transfer of funds from the central government to counties, lengthy bureaucratic processes, lack of legal frameworks, and bad relations were some of the issues affecting the success of devolution.

"The budget is stuck because there are some resolutions that are yet to be dispensed at the Senate," said Kiraitu.

"We are going into elections. Many governors will be voted out because of the promises we made based on this promise of Sh42 billion,” he added.

Lusaka and Kajwang' noted that the frosty relationship between the inaugural county governments and the senate had gradually improved.

Lusaka, a former Governor of Bungoma County, said the Senate was working to have the grants released, and hoped the National Assembly would not “let them down”, adding that Senators had settled on Sh400 billion because the economy had improved.  

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