A huge dark cloud is staring Kitui County staff for the third month in a row as a new month kicks off without any salaries paid to them.
This follows a prolonged standoff between Mama Ngilu’s executive and County assembly battles that is now affecting the administration operations directly.
It is the same enduring dispute between the two bodies that has seen the county laborers miss their July payments and the processing of the August and September salary jeopardized until the stalemate is resolved.
For a while now, both sides have been hawking accusations over the issue with Gov Ngilu condemning the Ward Representatives for allegedly dismissing the law by vandalizing her proposed budget for the year 2020-2021 and at the same time failing to pass the Vote on Account thinking that they will settle their political scores with her.
On the other hand, the MCAs led by their Speaker George Ndotto argued that the Executive ought to have submitted the Appropriation Bill before they pass the Vote on Account.
Similarly, the Speaker of the County assembly echoing words from the majority of the house said that Ngilu should have submitted the Appropriation Bill way before the Assembly pass the Vote on Account.
“The vote on account is a legal authority granted to the executive by the county assembly to draw funds for essential services, as the two sides negotiate any disputes in the annual budget, to ensure smooth delivery of services”. argued one MCA
Our Public Finance Management Act section 134 interprets salaries and wages, medical supplies, and emergencies as the ESSENTIAL services that Vote on Account is supposed to shield.
A week back, County Assembly had passed the controversial Appropriation Bill but to date, Gov Charity Ngilu is yet to sign it into law. Kitui Daylight has established from our moles that Mama is set to send the Bill back to the Assembly attached with a memorandum to have some disputed issues resolved.
Words from Ben Katungi who serves as the Executive for the County Treasury, there will be no money paid to the county staff until the Appropriation Bill is signed by Mama Ngilu.
He added that in the case where the Bill is to be sent back to the County Assembly, the brutal MCAs will have no choice but to debate the issues raised by Gov Ngilu in her memorandum according to the law.
“The Governor’s memorandum on the Appropriation Bill can only be rejected if it garners two-thirds majority in the Assembly, but as of now, the law gives the county boss 14 days to decide whether to sign or send it back” Mr. Katungi The CEC said.