The Council of Governors (CoG) on Wednesday, issued a statement defending governors who were slammed for failing to spend money on development projects in their counties from July to September 2023.
Controller of Budget Margaret Nyakang’o, in the 2023 Quarter 1 report, alleged that a section of the governors allocated less than 1 per cent of their budgets to county projects.
The CoG, through its Chair, Governor Anne Waiguru, rebutted, stating that each county government had its budget and work plans approved at the beginning of the year, and it would be impractical to expect all of them to have uniform expenditures.
It also emphasised that governors prioritise paying pending county bills over development projects as advised by the Controller of Budget. Waiguru further clarified that a majority of the pending bills affect development projects
A photo of Controller of Budget Margaret Nyakang’o.
“The attention of the Council of Governors is drawn to articles published in the local dailies on the Controller of Budget’s quarter one report that alleges that some County Governments did not spend any money on development.
“County governments align all the procurement processes to the law. The complexity of these processes, therefore, sometimes slows down the uptake of development expenditure. County Governments recognise the importance of ensuring that procurement procedures are meticulous, transparent, and adhere to the law in the spirit of accountability to the people we serve,” Waiguru explained.
Waiguru, the Kirinyaga county boss, also alleged that governors face different challenges that affect development funding, including the 4-month approval period by the Controller of Budget.
Delayed signing into law of the County Governments Additional Allocations Bill, 2023, which was expected to increase funding from the national government, was also cited as a major drawback.
“The delay by the Parliament to enact the County Governments Additional Allocations Bill, 2023, has constrained the disbursement of conditional grants to counties.
“It is important to note that most of the ongoing development projects are funded by these grants. We further note that to date, Parliament is yet to pass this crucial Bill to allow for release and flow of funds to Counties to pay major projects that are on going,” part of the statement read.
Some of the governors implicated in the report were Nairobi’s Johnson Sakaja, Wavinya Ndeti (Machakos), Gideon Mung’aro (Kilifi), and Cecily Mbarire (Embu).
Others were Wajir’s Ahmed Abdullahi, Erick Mutai (Kericho), Jonathan Lelelit (Samburu), Simon Kachapin (West Pokot) and Jeremiah Lomorukai (Turkana).
A Photo of Anne Waiguru (Centre)The Chair of Council of Governors at the EAC COP 28 side table discussions held at the Kenya Pavilion on December 6, 2023