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Counties must have budget ceilings, High Court rules

20 February 2015, 16:05 William Korir

Nairobi - Counties cannot spend as much as they want, the High Court has ruled, putting to bed petitions to have budget ceilings removed.

High Court Justice Isaac Lenaola dismissed the petition filed by the 47 speakers of the County Assemblies as lacking merit saying that public funds need to be well taken care of.

The judge ruled that there is a need to follow lawful processes set by the Constitution of Kenya and other statutes that all organs in the country should be left to carry out their constitutional duties without interference.

He said that it was the duty of the bodies to take care of funds allocated to the Counties in trust by Kenyans.

The Commision of Revenue Allocation CRA and the Controller of budget had set ceilings for budgets but they were received with ill feeling at County level.

The 47 County Assemblies had moved to court seeking to have circulars issued by CRA and the COB setting ceilings for financial allocations to County Assemblies declared unconstitutional.

The circulars, issued between April 22nd and July 16th, 2014 were declared null and void, having breached the Speakers’ constitutional rights.

The Assemblies further wanted the COB to oversee the implementation of county budgets once the County Assemblies have passed them.

They also sought a court order to compel CRA and the Controller of Budget to jointly approve and disburse funds as provided for in County Governments’ budget estimates of revenue and expenditure for the 2014/15 financial year.

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