Kirinyaga MCAs have set the stage for a renewed battle with the county executive after they began collecting signatures to dissolve the Governor Anne Waiguru administration. The move to collect signatures has split the MCAs with fear that Uhuru Kenyatta will dissolve the county to teach them a lesson.
A section of ward representatives led by the majority leader and Kerugoya MCA Kamau Murango said they are collecting signatures in all the 24 wards in Kirinyaga. Murango said they will collect over 60,000 signatures instead of the required 30,000 signatures to dissolve the executive. The MCAs were speaking after Governor Waiguru released a press statement accusing the county assembly of refusing to approve the 2020-2021 budget. Waiguru appealed to the senate, the Controller of Budget and Jubilee party leadership to intervene and save her county from grinding to a halt. She lamented that instead of the county assembly approving the proposed budget presented before it, the MCAs submitted a completely new budget with a variation of over 30pc, going against the requirement of regulation 37(1) of the Public Finance (county government) Act, 2015 which limits the assembly variations to 1pc of the set limits.
However, chairman of the county assembly budget committee David Mathenge dismissed the governor’s claims. The Kirinyaga governor vowed not to approve the specific alterations done to the budget, pointing out that the assembly moved over Sh300 million meant to pay salaries for health workers to construction of ward offices. She further noted that the assembly removed from the budget Sh20 million meant for payment of casual workers’ wages whom she said are critical in cleaning health facilities especially during the current period when the country is experiencing the Covid-19 pandemic. Waiguru also said the assembly had removed from the budget Sh59 million meant for legal fees to help her government in pursuing over 200 cases mostly on recovery of public lands and Sh30 million meant for payment of pending bills.