Kenya: Nairobi County to Borrow Sh150 Million

25 February 2021

Days after unanimously passing the Constitution of Kenya Amendment Bill, the Nairobi County Assembly transformed into a divided house as a motion to borrow Sh150 million for expenditure purposes elicited varied reactions.

The county executive has disowned the plan saying it is not privy to the reasons behind the decision.

The motion to borrow the funds was moved by Deputy Majority Leader Peter Wanyoike on Tuesday.

He called on the assembly to authorize the request by the county government's Finance CEC Allan Igambi to borrow the monies for the purpose of meeting expenditure necessary to carry on the services of the Nairobi County government during the financial year ending June 30, 2021.

"That, pursuant to the provisions of Section 142 of the Public Finance Management Act, 2012 this Assembly authorize the request by the County Executive Committee Member for Finance and Economic Planning to borrow Sh150,000,000 for the purpose of meeting expenditure necessary to carry on the services of the Nairobi City County Government during the financial year ending on the 30th June, 2021," read the motion.

However, Nairobi County Chief Finance Officer Halkano Waqo said he is not aware of such plans and he has not been part of any meeting or deliberations to come up with such a proposal.

"Borrow from where or who? I have no idea and I am hearing about it for the first time. I have never been to any discussion or deliberation so it is not from me or anybody from my side," said Waqo.

Asked whether the plan could have been done with the knowledge of the CEC alone, Waqo insisted he is the accounting officer for the Finance sector and as such, his input is needed.

Attempts to reach Igambi for comment proved futile as he did not respond to our calls or reply to texts.

Wanyoike said it was not the assembly that was borrowing but the county executive to deal with county services, which he did not specify.

"It is the CEC who brought the request. I think there was an agreement between the CEC and the assembly to borrow while waiting for the supplementary budget that will soon be brought before the assembly," said the Dandora Area I MCA.

The supplementary budget was tabled before the House by Majority Leader Abdi Guyo last week.

Waqo also confirmed the supplementary budget had been tabled and committed to the Budget and Appropriations Committee for deliberations.

During the debate, however, the ward representatives overwhelmingly supported the motion, saying "it will cater for very important issues.

"Thank you, Mr. Speaker for giving me this chance. I support the Motion because it carries the interests of the Assembly," said Landimawe MCA Herman Azangu.

"I agree things are now rolling on well. We need equity to ensure that at least everybody is on the same footing. I hope we will now have a new beginning. I rise to support this crucial Motion," said Roysambu MCA Peter Warutere.

"I rise to support this Motion because I believe what is good for the goose is good for the gander. Delay is not denial. By the end of this week, equality will be served here. I support," said nominated MCA Doris Kanario.

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