Embu County MCAs boycott budget session sittings

Embu County MCAs boycott budget session sittings

The Embu County Assembly failed to pass the 2016-2017 budget estimates after its members boycotted the session.

The irate MCAs successfully frustrated efforts by the Budget and Appropriations Committee to debate the Ksh 5.5 billion 2016/2017 county budget meaning the county cannot transact any financial business as from July 1st, 2016.

Speaker Kariuki Mate found himself in unfamiliar territory as he was the only member of the assembly in the chamber at the start of the 2:30pm sitting.

The sitting was later adjourned after only Majority Leader Andrew Musakwa, Minority Leader Paul Muchangi, Deputy Speaker Ibrahim Swaleh and Budget Committee Vice Chairman Michael Njeru showed up for the budget reading.

Five members of the Budget Committee including Chairman Joseph Mwaniki were conspicuously absent from the chambers as the last stage in the making of the county budget turned out to be a total failure.

Other MCAs were locked up in the VIP Lounge and deliberately refused to enter into the legislative chambers even after the Speaker directed the Sergeant-at-Arms to ring the quorum bell for 10 minutes.

The House quorum fell short by seven members.

When called upon to account for his colleagues whereabouts, the Minority Leader told the Speaker that MCAs were dissatisfied with the way the 2015/2016 had been utilized and, therefore, needed assurance from Governor Martin Wambora that the 2016/2017 budget would not be squandered.

Mate ordered that only the four MCAs who showed up at the Assembly chambers were eligible for sitting allowances and further directed that the names of Ward Reps who had secretly sneaked into the reception area to sign the attendance register and sneak out be expunged.

He reiterated that the MCAs are within their political rights to feel agitated and to stage a protest against the budget team.

He said he was aware of the MCAs’ grievances and supported them in refusing to be used as “rubber stamps” for offensive budget estimates.

On his part, Runyenjes Central MCA Steve Simba said the 2016/2017 budget, being the last budget in their five year term was critical in bolstering the chances of recapturing their seats.


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Story By Peter Gachanja
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