High court stops implementation of Murang’a budget

Murang’a county operations could grind to a halt after the court stopped the implementation of a supplementary budget. 

This is after two residents moved to a Nairobi High Court demanding the supplementary budget passed by ward representatives be revoked.

Justice Enock Mwita on Monday issued orders suspending implementation and demanded that the county responds to the application in 14 days.

In their application, Peter Mwangi and Allan Mburu termed the document passed on January 24 illegal noting that amendment on the supplementary budget exceed the 10 per cent stipulated in the constitution.

Through Waithaka and Associates advocates the two residents said the county had deducted funds from crucial departments warning that it would cripple activities in the affected dockets.

The petitioners further questioned a move to increase the revenue collection target from Sh850 million in the initial annual budget to Sh1.3 billion in the supplementary budget.

They claimed that between July last year and January the county has collected Sh193 million.

While dismissing the projection as unrealistic the Mr Mwangi and Mr Mburu argued that it was an attempt to hoodwink the Controller of Budget, Agnes Odhiambo, to approve the changes.

“This is in the backdrop of a shrinking revenue base as the county has reduced rates for markets, motorcycles, and other sources of revenue collection,” they noted in their application.

According to the petitioners the amendments were part of a well-organized scheme to misappropriate funds by transferring money from the development budget to the recurrent which they said was easily siphoned.

“These activities being undertaken in an election year are a well-organized scheme from various state officers working in cahoots with the county assembly,” they said.

Governor Mwangi Wa Iria has assented to the supplementary budget but the controller of budget is yet to approve the budget which gives the county access to the money.

In their application Mr Mwangi and Mr Mburu wanted the controller of budget restrained from approving the budget until the case challenging the illegal expenditure is concluded.

The duo accused both arms of disregarding clear provisions of the constitution and the regulations in public finance management governing the budget making process.

The case will mentioned on February 21.

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