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Machakos MCAs award themselves Sh3.6m for iPads as counties release budgets

EASTERN
By Daniel Nzia | July 2nd 2014

Machakos, Kenya: The Machakos County Assembly has approved a Sh8.9 billion budget for the 2014/2015 financial year.

Initially, the Assembly rejected a Sh9.5 billion budget terming it "over ambitious and unrealistic". The county expects to raise Sh2.7 billion through local revenue collection whereas the National Government will provide Sh6.2 billion through the equalisation fund.

The assembly went ahead to allocate itself Sh930 million, in total disregard of the Executive which had proposed an allocation of Sh643 million.

Some Sh833.5 million will go towards recurrent expenditure, while capital expenditure will take up Sh96.5 million. Administrative vehicles for the assembly will be acquired at a cost of Sh20 million and Sh180 million was set aside for mortgages for County Assembly Members (MCAs).

The MCAs also allocated themselves Sh3.6 million to purchase ipads and a further Sh47.04 million for salaries for ward employees and other office running expenses.

Some Sh50 million has been set aside to settle outstanding salary arrears to former employees of the defunct local authorities.

A further Sh5.2 million will be spent on service gratuity (a financial award granted for long or meritorious service) to former civic leaders who served for two consecutive terms in the defunct local authorities between 2002 and 2012.

The county also allocated Sh42 million for the completion and equipping of the Intensive Care Unit and renal unit at the Machakos Level Five hospital and a further Sh480 million for the payment of contracted community hospital workers based at the 40 Wards.

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Under the executive budget, Sh4.9 billion will go towards salaries and other expenses, with Sh4 billion going to development. This translates to 55 and 45 per cent respectively.

Ministries of Water, Irrigation and Sanitary and Health and emergency services took the lion's share of the development cash at Sh1.8 billion and Sh1.6 billion respectively.

Some Sh50 million will be used for the establishment of a County Emergency Fund to enable the County Government address urgent and unforeseen emergencies.

Meanwhile, the Minister for Finance and Revenue Collection Elizabeth Nzioka said the county government has stepped up efforts on collection of revenue by eliminating leakages to increase earnings.

While presenting the budget estimates to the county assembly on Monday, Ms Nzyoka said that Governor Alfred Mutua's government has established Machakos Revenue Directorate which is charged with revenue administration and management.

"We are in the process of fully automating revenue collection and ensure we achieve cashless revenue collection. Other measures include enhanced monitoring and enforcement," said the county executive member.

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