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Revealed: Current expenditure disguised as development in Kitui budget

 It has emerged that Kitui County Government has been on the spotlight of the Office of Controller of Budget, OCOB, for spending much of its revenue on recurrent use rather than uplifting the welfare of wananchi locally christened Musangi.

 Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu speaks with residents at her official residence on August 25. Her government has been criticized by the Controller of Budget for noncompliance to budgetary allocations in this financial year's budget estimates. Photo/FILE

In a letter dated June 10, and addressed to Kitui County Executive Committee Member for Finance Bernard Katungi, the Controller of Budget advises that Kitui County FY 2021/2022 Draft Budget Estimates was above the set ceiling in the second schedule of the County Allocation of Revenue Bill.

The county set KSh801,962,102 for recurrent expenditure exclusively for the office of Governor Charity Ngilu and Public Service Board. “This is above the KSh604,298,418 set ceiling in the second schedule of the County Allocation of Revenue Bill, 2021” observes OCOB.

The budget’s controller orders the Kitui Executive to work within the budget ceiling approved by the Senate in construction of Speaker’s residence, County Assembly offices and the Governor’s residence.

The county government of Kitui allocated salaries and wages to its staff to consume 37.5% of the revenue. This is above the set limit of 35% of the county’s total revenue as per the Regulation 25(1)b of the Public Finance Management (County Governments) Regulations, 2015. OCOB flags this planned over expenditure and advises the Ngilu-led county to comply with the legal limit on expenditure on salaries and wages.

The OCOB reads misallocation of recurrent expenditure disguised as development in millions of shillings that were allocated to research allowances, training expenses and emergency funds. In total, the recurrent budget that was put for “development” budget is Sh97,000,000. The county only provided general programme needs and has been ordered to specify programmes, sub-programmes and project/activities to be undertaken in the recurrent expenditure which has been placed under development budget.

On August 26, Kitui County Assembly clerk wrote to the chairperson of Kitui County Public Service Board highlighting non-compliance of Kitui County wage bill with statutory requirements. The clerk advised the board to immediately stop hiring of staff to enable issues raised by the Controller of Budget and a House Motion to be addressed. The clerk threatened to sue if the Executive flouted the set financial regulations.


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