Governor Mutua ordered to release Machakos County Assembly funds
The Machakos High Court on Thursday ordered Governor Alfred Mutua to release funds meant for expenses and salaries for the County Assembly within 14 days.
In a petition against Governor Mutua and the Machakos county government, Lady Justice Pauline Nyamweya issued a mandatory injunction compelling the remission of Ksh.79,254,659 owed in salaries and expenses to the assembly over the past three months.
The monies amount to Ksh.63,248,046 meant for recurrent expenditure and Ksh.16,006,613 for development budget.
Lady Justice Nyamweya also ruled that reasons given for the refusal to approve the withdrawal of the sums of money were unsatisfactory.
“Taking into account the principle of public finance management, the petitioner has been able to show compliance with the law as regards the release of the money and it is proper for a mandatory injunction to be issued,” she ruled.
The court also stated that it would rule on a prayer in the petition that sought for the constitutionally stipulated release of funds approved to county assemblies. It set a January 16, 2018 date for the ruling.
In the case filed December 4, the petitioners sought to compel the governor and the county government to remit the funds meant for their operations that had already been released by the controller of budget.
Caroline Kamende, an advocate for the county assembly had argued for the remission of the funds on public interest grounds, which the court agreed to in awarding the mandatory injunction.
For the past three months, monies accruing to the Members of County Assembly (MCAs) and the county assembly workers have reportedly not been remitted.
Governor Mutua told journalists in November, 2017 that he could not approve a budget proposed by the MCAs on grounds that it will lead to the plunder of public funds.
“This is against the will of those who elected them,” said Mutua.
The Maendeleo Chap Chap Party leader added, “The assembly has proposed a huge budget to cater for trips and recreation purposes against the wishes of those who elected them.”
On their part however, the MCAs alleged that the monies in contention are the ones passed by the previous county assembly that sat before the August 8 General Elections, and approved by Governor Mutua.
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