8 July 2014

Kenya: The Kitui Budget Is Flawed - Mutambu

MWINGI Central MP Joe Mutambu has questioned the legality of the recently passed Kitui county 2014-15 budget. He backed the move by opposition MCAs led by minority leader Alex Nganga to move to court to block the budget.

"The budget was flawed and people were not amused. I think it is high time all other stakeholders were included in the budget making," Mutambu told journalists in Mwingi yesterday.

Soon after the Kitui budget estimates report was passed by the assembly on June 28, Nganga and other MCAs raised doubts on the legality of sanctioning the document.

They said it is illegal since it was not done in line with the fiscal strategy paper, which according to law should guide budget making. The MCAs said the lack of the County Integrated Development Plan worsened the situation.

They have asked Controller of Budget Agnes Odhiambo not to approve the budget. But even as the opposition to the budget heightened, it emerged that Kitui Governor Julius Malombe has vowed not to accept the budget report.

Sources said the governor is unhappy with the "mutilation" of budget proposals presented to the assembly by the county treasury. "He is displeased that the assembly reduced funds to Beyond Zero, street lighting and roads. But we have asked him to send us a memorandum so that we can make amends," said the chairman of the Budget and Appropriation Committee, Antony Muthui.

However, Chuluni ward representative Francis Mwalili said instead of being unhappy with the budget, Malombe should ensure it is prepared in line with the constitution. He said the governor should accept the changes in the original treasury script as they covered the views of the public.

"The governor submitted a budget to the assembly and the same was taken out to the public to allow the voice of mwananchi to be incorporated. I am therefore shocked when he claims that the document was changed as though he expected the assembly to rubber stamp," said Mwalili in an emailed statement.

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