New governors will be sworn into office beginning Thursday, with the spotlight falling on budgets for inauguration to curb wastage of public funds.
Devolution Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri yesterday said each county would determine its budget for the ceremony.
“Every governor will decide on the expenditure. If they want to be sworn into their offices with no ceremony, it is up to them,” Kiunjuri said yesterday as he detailed the schedule for the ceremonies for each of the 47 counties.
Already, Nairobi Governor-elect Mike Sonko has disregarded a budget of Sh25 million meant for the inauguration and wants the funds used to pay salary arrears for county workers. Mr Kiunjuri also said outgoing governors should not expect any cent above what the Constitution awards them as their send-off package.
Governors are entitled to 31 per cent of their annual basic salaries as gratuity for every year they have been in office.
The CS warned outgoing county bosses facing queries on their tenure that they were not off the hook yet.
Detailing the well-set-out plan on assumption of office of the governors, Kiunjuri said the national government was anticipating a smooth transition, this being the first since devolution set in.
He said as at close of business on Monday, all counties had met the legal requirements for swearing-in of new governors by setting the venues and dates.
Alfred Mutua (Machakos) and Ali Roba (Mandera) are expected to be among the first governors-elect to be sworn in tomorrow in an exercise that will spread to August 24.
And concerning those incumbents who have been ousted but are protesting the results, filing a court case may not necessarily stop the exercise, at least until the court determines that the said individual is unfit to hold office.
And the government is on the spot for giving governors-elect a ‘free hand’ in the budget for the inauguration ceremonies. In 2013, Sh2 million was set aside for the assumption of office for all the 47 governors which was part of the Sh61 million for infrastructure because they were pioneer county chiefs.
“Governors must exercise frugal use of public funds. This budget is limited. It’s a one-off event whose budget is controlled by the County Assemblies,” said Transition Authority former chairman Kinuthia Wamwangi at the time.