19 January 2014

Kenya: Ruto - Counties Yet to Collect Sh35 Billion

Nairobi — The Deputy President William Ruto has asked County governments to move with speed and draw billions of unspent funds lying at the County Government Accounts at the Central Bank of Kenya.

He said that the money standing at over Sh35 billion should be collected and utilised for service delivery to Kenyans at the county level instead of lying idle.

Speaking during the homecoming party of the Vihiga MP Yusuf Chanzu, the Deputy President said the government was committed to ensuring devolution succeeds adding that was the reason the Jubilee administration had devolved adequate resources to enable the country to move forward.

This comes after Governors and Senators allied to the Coalition for Reforms and Democracy had on Saturday vowed to push ahead with their campaign to raise the allocation to counties to 45 percent of the national budget.

Speaking after a strategy meeting chaired by CORD principals Raila Odinga, Kalonzo Musyoka and Moses Wetangula, the County leaders said devolution is aimed at empowering county governments with finances so that they were strong enough to serve the people well.

"CORD resolves that requisite resources should be allocated to the county government in line with the Constitution, in this regard institutions that were previously expecting functions (which are now within the ambit of the County Governments should now surrender those functions to the counties, to facilitate this CORD demands the enhancements of the county revenue thresholds allocated to county governments to a minimum of 45 percent," said Marsabit Governor while briefing the media on the meeting's resolution.

A similar push by the Senators and Governors fizzled out late last year after County leaders from the Jubilee Coalition abandoned the campaign arguing that it would take a long time to materialise.

He said their demands for an increase in county cash allocation did not require a referendum since the national government had provided more than the 15 percent minimum share stipulated in the Constitution without a referendum.

The current allocation to the counties is 32 percent of the national budget.

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