Waiguru Turns to Uhuru After MCAs Scuttle Budget 

  • President Uhuru Kenyatta with Governor Anne Waiguru and Interior PS Karanja Kibicho during a development tour of Kirinyaga County in February 2020
    President Uhuru Kenyatta with Governor Anne Waiguru and Interior PS Karanja Kibicho during a development tour of Kirinyaga County in February 2020
    File
  • UPDATE: Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru was dealt a huge blow on Wednesday, July 15, after the county assembly blocked her 2020/2021 Ksh.5.6 billion budget.

    The embattled governoe had previously urged the Members of County Assembly (MCAs) to reconsider her proposals, arguing that their ammendments would end up hurting the people of Kirinyaga.

    However, 25 out of 35 MCAs voted to reject the memorandum during the House session.


    Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru in a press statement sent out on Monday, July 13, revealed that she had appealed to President Uhuru Kenyatta and the entire Jubilee Party Leadership to help her resolve a standoff with MCAs over her county budget.

    She further highlighted various amendments made by a faction of the Kirinyaga Members of County Assembly (MCAs), stating that passing the document, as is, was impractical.

    "I have already appealed to the senate, the Controller of Budget and national Jubilee Party leadership to intervene and save the county from grinding into a halt," reads her latest statement in part.

    Governor Waiguru accused MCAs of going against the requirement of Regulation 37(1) of the Public Finance (County Government) Regulations 2015 which limits the assembly variations to 1% of the ceilings after they presented a budget with a 30% variation. 

    Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru appears before the Senate in June 2020
    Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru appears before the Senate in June 2020
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    She highlighted the various issues in the new proposed budget including the MCAs decision to remove over Ksh300 million meant to pay salaries for health workers and the construction of ward offices.

    The embattled governor termed the move as unacceptable and an affront to health workers who have been putting their lives on the line to fight the Covid-19 pandemic.

    Other issues highlighted in the press statement were presented as detailed below:

    National Government and Donor Funded Programmes 

    1. Kirinyaga is one of the counties under the Presidential program on coffee revitalisation. The county was required to raise Ksh100 million matching funds as part of the programme of which only Ksh50 milllion was initially allocated to enable us participate.

    The removal of Ksh50 million allocated for conditional matching funds will mean that about 68,000 coffee farmers from Kirinyaga will not benefit from the programme which includes access to Cherry Advance Revolving Fund. 

    2. The Assembly removed Ksh184 million allocated as conditional matching funds for donor-funded programs under Health, Agriculture and Education.

    These funds were already signed for between the National Government and Donors and as a county, we are expected to provide the matching funds if we are to benefit. 

    The action by the assembly means that these projects will not be carried out in Kirinyaga. This will affect over 3,000 farmers, over 7,000 youth in our polytechnics and residents who require health services. 

    Statutory Obligation 

    1. Taxes - the Assembly removed Ksh58 million meant for payment of taxes to the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) which is a contravention of the law and will result in penalties. 

    2. Legal fees - Last week the President signed into law the Office of the County Attorney Act which requires that counties have fully staffed and funded the County Attorney office to handle legal matters in the county.

    The Assembly removed Ksh59 million meant for legal fees which will hamper the county government’s efforts in pursuing the over 200 cases mostly on recovering public land.

    These include Thingirici Land meant for establishment of the industrial park, Mwea Trust Land which affects over 10,000 families and South Ngariama Settlement Scheme cases which involve acres of land worth billions of shillings belonging to the people of Kirinyaga. 

    3. Pending Bills- The Assembly removed Ksh30 million meant for payment of pending bills which is a contravention of a Presidential directive set as a condition for accessing the exchequer for the county. 

    The under-fire governor concluded by making it clear that she would not approve the specific alterations done to the budget, and urged MCAs to reconsider their proposals and put the people of Kirinyaga first.

    Kirinyaga County Governor Anne Waiguru appearing before the Senate Special Committee on June 23, 2020.
    Kirinyaga County Governor Anne Waiguru appearing before the Senate Special Committee on June 23, 2020.
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