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Counties have spent over 50 per cent of funds, says National Treasury report

COUNTIES
By - GRACE WEKESA and RENSON BULUMA | October 9th 2013
Some of the projects undertaken by the Kakamega County government.  [PHOTO: BENJAMIN SAKWA/STANDARD]

By GRACE WEKESA and RENSON BULUMA

KENYA: Bungoma and Busia counties have already spent over 50 per cent of their allocations from the National Treasury.

Bungoma was allocated Sh1 billion and has already spent Sh521 million in the second disbursement as at September 18.

According to a report released by the Treasury on counties expenditure, the balance in the county bank account at Central Bank of Kenya is Sh529 million.

Busia County had received Sh580,108,708 in cumulative disbursements of county revenue funds but had only utilised Sh290,053,368.

When reached for comment, Bungoma Governor Kenneth Lusaka said most of the allocations went to expenditure and other operations.

“Most of the money went to recurrent expenditure and operations. We paid salaries for the three months we have been in office,” stated Lusaka.

He further added that Sh55 million was transferred to the county assembly for its operations. Sh20 million was spent on recurrent expenditure while Sh232 million was channelled to an operations account.

Lusaka vowed to dedicate the next allocation to development projects in the county that he had prioritised during his campaigns.

“We want to complete the tannery in Bungoma and the Chwele slaughter house. We have started opening town roads, for example, the Sikata hospital road construction is ongoing,” he affirmed.

He stressed that Misikhu-Brigadier, Musikoma-Buyofu and Chwele-Lwakhakha roads had been earmarked for tarmacking to improve the county’s infrastructure.

Equitable share

Busia County government is yet to receive the second disbursement of the equitable share of revenue to county governments by the Treasury.

County Executive Member for Finance Leonard Obimbira said apart from the Sh290 million the county received in early September, no other cash has so far been deposited in the county’s account.

“Apart from the first tranche of Sh291 million, we are yet to receive additional money from the Treasury. We are, however, expecting the second disbursement which is likely to be deposited in our accounts within the next two weeks,” said Obimbira.

He noted the money disbursed was meant for recurrent expenditure. “Development money has not yet been received because it is subject to conditionalities which among others requires that we submit our supplementary budget which we are yet to do,” said Obimbira.

He at the same time blamed the Treasury for the delay in submitting the supplementary budget because they (Treasury) had not provided his office with details of the payroll for devolved staff. “That has delayed our preparation and revision of the supplementary budget,” said Obimbira.

But Vihiga has not begun utilising its cash for projects because the County Assembly has yet to approve the expenditures.

Long procurement procedures have further been blamed for the delay in executing projects.

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