Fresh trouble as Kirinyaga MCAs begin collecting signatures to dissolve County Gov’t

Kirinyaga Members of County Assembly have set the stage for a renewed battle with the County Executive after they began collecting signatures to dissolve the Governor Anne Waiguru-led administration.

Speaking on Monday evening, a section of ward representatives led by Majority Leader and Kerugoya MCA Kamau Murango said they are collecting signatures in all 24 Wards in Kirinyaga.

Mr. Murango said they will collect over 60,000 signatures instead of the required 30,000 signatures to dissolve the executive.

“Already I have collected over 1000 signatures in my ward,” said the Majority Leader.

The MCAs were speaking after Governor Waiguru released a press statement accusing the county assembly of refusing to approve the 2020-2021 budget.

Waiguru appealed to the Senate, the Controller of Budget and Jubilee Party leadership to intervene and save her county from grinding into a halt.

She claimed that instead of the County Assembly approving the proposed budget presented before it, the MCAs submitted a completely new budget with a variation of over 30%, going against the requirement of regulation 37(1) of the Public Finance (County Government ) Act, 2015 which limits the assembly variations to 1% of the set limits.

However, Chairman of the County Assembly Budget Committee David Mathenge dismissed the Governor’s claims

“We have been asking for some papers from her office in vain and we did not remove any money from the budget,” said Mathenge who is also Baragwi MCA.

The Kirinyaga Governor vowed not to approve the specific alterations done to the budget, pointing out that the Assembly moved over Ksh.300 million meant to pay salaries for health workers to construction of ward offices.

She further noted that the Assembly removed from the budget Ksh.20 million meant for payment of casual workers’ wages whom she said are critical in cleaning health facilities especially during the current period when the country is dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The assembly also removed Ksh.14.6 million meant for fueling ambulances, water bills and acquiring oxygen for Kirinyaga hospitals, and this is unacceptable since it means paralyzing operations in my health sector,” an angry Waiguru added.

The Governor also accused the county assembly of removing from the budget funds allocated for statutory obligations. She noted that Ksh.58 million meant for payment of taxes to the Kenya Revenue Authority had been struck out of the budget adding that this will result in the county government being penalised.

Waiguru also said the Assembly had removed from the budget Ksh.59 million meant for legal fees to help her government in pursuing over 200 cases mostly on recovery of public lands and Ksh.30 million meant for payment of pending bills.

The County Assembly Majority Leader and Budget Committee Chair dismissed Waiguru’s statement saying she failed to follow advice from the controller of budget.

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