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14 counties snubbed projects for 6 months

Fourteen counties did not spend a single shilling on development for six months, even as they paid for trips and sitting allowances of county officials and MCAs.

County governments together used Sh3.77 billion on domestic and foreign travel during the six months period.

The statistics from the Controller of Budget report come quick on the heels of a survey by research firm Tifa that showed devolution has not significantly improved the lives of residents in the country’s three cities.

The County Budget Implementation Review Report for the period July-December 2017 also shows counties hit a paltry 18 per cent of the annual local revenue target.

Read : Counties splashed Sh514m on travels in three months

Among the counties that did not spend a coin on development between June and December last year include Embu, Garissa, Kirinyaga, Kisumu and Meru.

Others are Nakuru, Nandi, Nyandarua, Nyeri, Siaya, Taita Taveta, Tharaka-Nithi, Vihiga and West Pokot.

All but two of the governors of those counties lost in the 2017 election.

During the six months period, Meru county received Sh3.14 billion in its accounts and spent Sh2.33 billion on salaries and allowances.

Kirinyaga had Sh1.25 billion at its disposal during the period of which Sh1.49 billion went on recurrent expenditure.

The Nakuru county government received Sh4.51 billion but spent Sh3.03 billion on recurrent expenditure.

 

LAW

Notably, some counties were struggling to comply with the legal requirement to not allocate at least 30 per cent of their budget to development.

These include Busia ( 28.5 per cent), Kiambu ( 29.8 ) and Kericho ( 29.1 )

According to the Public Finance Management Act, 2012 counties should allocate at least 30 per cent of their budgets to development.

The report indicates Mandera, Kwale and Kakemega had the highest allocation for development as a percentage of their budget at 50.3 per cent, 49.3 per cent and 48 per cent respectively.

Kilifi is ranked top of the counties that utilised most of its development vote in the first half of the current financial year followed by Muranga, Kwale and Migori.

But the report indicates MCAs in some five counties exceeded the monthly maximum of Sh80,000 set by the Salaries and Renumeration Commission.

They include Kakamega at Sh108,172, Samburu (Sh92,372 ), Turkana (Sh90,505 ), Tana River (Sh150,558 ) and Taita Taveta (Sh80,969 ).

TRAVELLING

Altogether, the counties spent a whopping Sh3.4 billion on domestic travel and Sh370.28 million on foreign visits.

The expenditure was, however down 28.4 per cent compared to Sh5.28 billion incurred in a similar period in the 2016/17 financial year.

Narok County incurred the highest expenditure on domestic and foreign travel at Sh243.75 million, followed by Migori and Taita Taveta at Sh165.41 million and Sh163.61 million respectively.

The report also paints a grim picture on local revenue collection across the counties. Its shows all the 47 counties collected Sh9.95 billion in local revenue.

Also read : Counties’ Sh10bn used on foreign trips

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