Sonko rejects Nairobi Budget, cites gross inflation, illegalities

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Nairobi Governor, Mike Mbuvi Sonko

Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko on Thursday rejected the Nairobi City County Appropriation Bill, 2020 possibly exposing the county to financial crisis.

He sent the bill, which is basically the county budget and determines how the county would be run for the next one financial year, back to the County Assembly for consideration in accordance with Section 24(3), (4) and (5) of the County Government Act.

Sonko cited illegalities and inconsistencies contained in the budget which was passed by the assembly on October 8.

In a memorandum to the assembly speaker Benson Mutura, Sonko said cartels cheekily introduced curious clauses to the budget in the lastminute.

The Governor said the original budget proposals submitted by the county executive are not what was eventually passed.

This, according to Sonko, was in complete disregard of the advisory issued by the Controller of Budget on July 27, 2020.

He said besides creating a budget deficit of Sh5.9 billion contrary to Section 129 (c) of the Public Finance Management Act, some members made illegal amendments to the original Bill that had been approved by the Assembly’s Budget Committee in Mombasa, contrary to Section 131 of the PFMA and Regulation 37 (1) of the Public Finance Management Regulations of 2015.

“In this regard, the overall budget was increased from Sh 31.43 billion to Sh37.45 billion, a whopping 19.3% increase against the 1% provided for in law,” said Sonko.

The Governor said the cartels, including senior state officials, resorted to intimidating and frustrating his employees in order to push their own hidden agenda.

“We should always follow law, especially where public funds are involved. We must not resort to blackmail and uncalled for political warfronts. We must respect Nairobians and give them maximum priority,” he said.

Sonko spoke in his UpperHill private office where he rejected the bill in the presence of head of Treasury Johnstone Akong’o, county lawyers, among other county officials.

“With unprecedented impunity, some senior government officials went ahead to arrogate unto themselves the responsibility of the County Executive, by purporting to extinguish four departments that fall under the transferred functions through budget starvation, contrary to Article 187 (2) (b) of the Constitution, which states that constitutional responsibility for the performance of the function or exercise of the power shall remain with the government to which it is assigned by the Fourth Schedule’,” Sonko added