Assembly Adopts Supplementary Budget, MCAs Raise Concern Over Soaring Pending Bills 

Members of the County Assembly of Kakamega (MCAs) have adopted the report on the 1st County Supplementary Budget for the Financial Year (FY) 2022/2023.

They debated and approved the report giving the county executive the node to start implementing its first development projects and programs.

Also read the detailed Budget Estimates report

The Thursday afternoon session was presided over by the Speaker, Hon. James Namatsi.

The revised budget, according to the chairperson to the Budget and Appropriations committee,Hon. Gildon Shioso was caused by a number of factors among them: Re-Budgeting of Balances Brought Forward and Conditional Grants, incorporating the Governor’s Manifesto, fully cater for implementation of scheme of service of Early Childhood Development Education (ECDE) teachers into permanent and pensionable employees and provide more funding of Ksh. 25 Million for medical drugs, non - pharmaceuticals and laboratory supplies.

Speaking after tabling the report, Hon. Shioso urged members to adopt it with the proposed amendments to ensure smooth operations of the county government.

“Mr. Speaker Sir, there is need to adjust the Budget due to Conditional Grants as provided by the County Governments Additional Allocations Bill, 2022 as well as re-allocate funds which are unlikely to be spent to other depleted vote heads,” said the Butsotso South legislator.

According to the report, Recurrent Budget increased by Ksh. 959 Million from Ksh. 9.7 Billion in the Approved Budget to Ksh. 10.8 Billion with the Ministries of Health Services and Public Service and Administration receiving the lion’s share.

Development Budget went up by Ksh. 7.3 Million from the initial Ksh. 5.696 Billion to Ksh. 5.70 Billion.

The vice-chairperson to committee, Hon. Geoffrey Ondiro rallied members to support the report arguing that the Supplementary Budget would cater for the Governor’s manifesto bearing in mind that it the first budget to be implemented by the Governor.

“With a proposal to increase Bursary allocation from Ksh. 2 Million to Ksh. 4 Million was a great deal for the students and residents of Kakamega County,” remarked the Shianda/Marenyo Ward MCA.

He however raised a concern over huge pending bills at the County Assembly and supported the recommendation for further interrogation by the Budget and Appropriations committee to establish the true position of the pending bills which were reported to be Ksh. 174.9 Million with the Balance Brought Forward being Ksh. 1.3 Million.

His sentiments were echoed by the Leader of Majority, Hon. Philip Maina who said that under the ideal situation, pending bills should be below the Balance brought forward which was not the case with the County Assembly.

Hon. Maina further added that the move to enhance funding for Micro-finance institutions was ideal to expand their niche and told the members that several proposals for legislations and regulations will be brought to the House for approval to help the management of county Micro-finances.

The leader of Minority, Hon. David Ndakwa challenged both the County Executive and County Assembly officers to be availing necessary documents to relevant committees in time.

Hon. Ndakwa underscored need for county departments and agencies to be submitting quarterly reports for scrutiny by various Assembly committees saying this would make the budgeting process broad based.

He added that this should also apply to the County Assembly to be furnishing the Budget committee with its financial reports and budgetary plans on quarterly basis.

“We must change on how we do things, put professionals to task and pinpoint issues in question in the Budget instead of rubber stamping the illegalities even as we support the government in serving our people,” cautioned Hon. Ndakwa.

He lamented that pending bills for County Assembly have been recurring yet the Exchequer keeps disbursing funds at the end of every financial year.

Minority Whip, Hon.Titus Kwomah supported the report urging his colleagues to pass it noting that it has proposed the for the increment bursaries.

“I fully support the report since members’ welfare is taken care of and this being kind of a transition Budget for the new government in place, we need to support it,” said Hon. Kwomah.

Other legislators who supported the report were; Hon. Gladys Omukongolo who insisted on the need to settle the soaring pending bills once the report is adopted together with the Appropriations Bill, while Hon. Bonface Osanga who stated that the needs of local Mwananchi have been given a priority.

Hon. Shioso further applauded the Budget and Appropriations committee members with the secretariat headed by the Fiscal Analyst, Ms. Beatrice Ilavonga for resilience, endurance, patience and working tirelessly while preparing the report.