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Governors report to no one, County Assemblies complain

22 July 2015, 21:19 Samuel Kisika

Nairobi – County Assemblies have said their reliance on County Executives to be allocated funds to run their affairs has made it difficult to hold Governors and their cabinets accountable in the reported massive misappropriation of county funds.

The County Assemblies Forum (CAF) Chairman, Nuh Nassir who appeared before the Senate Finance committee with his delegation said County Assemblies should have their own independent accounts to avoid intimidation from the Governors and their executives.

Nassir said the current County Revenue Fund (CRF) account shared between the County Assembly and the County Executive but managed by the Governor’s officer in charge of finance has been used to frustrate members of county assemblies (MCAs) questioning how the money was spent on various projects.

“County funds are by large managed by the County Executives and County Assemblies only request for a few coins to carry out their oversight role where sometimes are frustrated and even denied the allocation when they ask the governors and their executive to account for certain expenditures,” said Nassir.

He pointed out that MCAs have been at the mercy of Governors and their executives to ensure they praise them, other than discharging their constitutional oversight mandate lest they are denied allocations.

“For example, Mandera County Executive used about KES 460 million shillings without the County Assembly’s approval and Governors want to remain in control of the funds to make it difficult to be held accountable,” said Nassir.

He said county assemblies will realize independence in their operations just like the Parliamentary Service Commission and the Judiciary if there is separation of accounts with that of the county executive once money is channeled to counties from the National Treasury.

Nassir added that allowing the county assemblies to have autonomy in the management of funds will curb threats issued to county Clerks, Speakers and MCAs from governors and their executives in discharging their constitutional mandates.

Nyeri Senator, Mutahi Kagwe supported the CAF chairman’s need for county assemblies to have their own fund so that they cannot be compromised by governors in discharging their oversight role.

“There should be autonomous because he who pays the piper calls the tune. We are going to put proper legislations in place for separation of accounts between the county assembly and the county executive for today and future management of counties,” said Kagwe.

Bungoma Senator, Moses Wetang’ula said, “It is not the duty of MCAs to praise the governor but carry out their oversight role. This is due to lack of autonomy to enable their independence.”

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