Nairobi MCAs give Sh1.7 billion condition for passing budget
Operations At City Hall are likely to stall after Members of the County Assembly threatened not to pass the 2016/2017 budget following a tussle with the Executive over a fund for the wards.
The county has less than a day to pass the budget since Finance Executive Gregory Mwakanongo will be reading the budget on deadline day on Thursday, leaving no room for the Assembly to debate and pass it.
The MCAs have threatened to shoot down the budget if the County Treasury fails to release Sh1.7 billion allocated to the Ward Development Fund.
HIT A SNAG
The presentation of the budget to the Budget and Appropriation Committee hit a snag on Tuesday after Mr Mwakanongo failed to convince the members that the ward fund will have its own account.
He said that, without the Ward Development Fund Act, it was difficult for the treasury to create a separate account.
“The Assembly is the one delaying this money from being deposited as it does not have a Ward Development Act,” said Mr Mwakanongo.
He said the county however has in the past three years allocated the wards money for projects and paid for the works from the Capital Fund.
However, the Executive had been mandated by the committee to present the status of the projects done by the ward fund, which the committee said was unsatisfactory and shoddily done.
Chief Officer Roads and Transport Michael Ngari told the committee that if they were given more time to prepare a better document, they would.
The Executive has also given the Assembly Sh80 million for gratuity in a bid to woo MCA to pass the budget.
Budget committee chairman Michael Ogada Michael Ogada told the Executive, represented by Mr Mwakanogo and Mr Ngari, to come up with the report by Thursday for the budget to be passed.
WARD FUND ACCOUNT
He said Mr Mwakanogo had promised to deposit Sh70 million once the ward fund account is opened by Thursday. MCAs demanded that the Finance minister table before the committee the bank slip showing the transaction.
Mr Ogada said the Assembly would pass the ward fund regulations by Tuesday’s sitting.
Ward Development Fund committee chairman Maurice Gari said the Executive had been using the Act as an excuse since, in the past, the Finance Department had deposited Sh5 million in the same account.
Mr Gari said that they will not pass the budget since the county government had failed to give services to the people, instead buying vehicles. He said the county had been frustrating contractors with non-payment, hence the delay in development.
Should the Assembly fail to pass the budget, the county will be subjected to a Vote on Account — meaning, they could draw 50 per cent of the Sh35.89 billion budget estimates for the 2016/2017 Financial Year.