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County govts on the spot over corruption allegations

12 February 2015, 11:34 Samuel Kisika

Nairobi – The Senate and National Assembly's Finance and Budget committees have raised concern over massive cases of corruption in county governments following the recent World Bank report revealing poor expenditure on development projects.

The Senate committee led by Mandera Senator, Billow Kerrow, and his National Assembly counterpart, Mutava Musyimi (Mbeere South MP) said they are “agonized” by the counties’ utilization of allocated funds and vowed to ensure governors are accountable.

“Figures reported in the media purporting to be current allocations to counties are not true because are not based on any law. We are deeply concerned on utilization of funds in the counties,” said Kerrow.

“There is need to look at all environment on the management of finances in counties. We have invited the anti-corruption commission to look into misappropriation of funds we approve for counties,” he added.

Kerrow reiterated that exact figures of funds to be allocated to the counties will be released officially once the revenue sharing formula is put in place and adopted by both House committees contrary to what the media is reporting based on the Treasury’s estimates.

“No revenue has so far been approved for allocation by Senate or National Assembly until the new allocation laws such as the County Allocation Bill and Division of Revenue Bill are put in place,” said Kerrow.

Musyimi also lashed out the reported county allocations and said the Division of Revenue Bill which helps in allocation of funds to various national government organizations and county governments is yet to be tabled in Parliament for deliberation and adoption.

Also read: EACC summoned over corruption cases reported by media

“The Division of Revenue Bill is supposed to be tabled in the House within 14 days every February. The document is yet to be tabled and we hope it will be tabled next week,” said Musyimi.

“Communication on county allocations from the media may cause tension in the society when our committees make changes to the figures contrary to what they already know,” he added.

Media had reported that Nairobi City County will receive the highest allocation of KES 12.7 billion followed by Turkana KES 10.2 billion, Mandera KES 8.7 billion, Kakamega KES 8.7 billion and Bungoma KES 8.2 billion in top five rankings while the bottom five beneficiary counties are Lamu KES 2 billion, Isiolo KES 2.9 billion, Tharaka Nithi KES 3 billion, Taita Taveta KES 3.2 billion and Elgeyo Marakwet KES 3.2 billion.

World Bank’s report on county governments ranking on utilization of funds on development issues placed Wajir County at the top with 58%, followed by Turkana 55% while counties at the bottom in the ranking was Mombasa with 1%.

However, the Council of Governors lashed out the ranking claiming it intended at limiting counties from getting funds from the National Government and that those who carried the survey based it theoretical approach without getting to the each county.

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