Hope for unlocking standoff dashed.

Efforts by the Executive arm of the Taita Taveta county government to unlock a stalemate on the proposed Budget Estimates bill were yesterday shelved after the County Assembly rejected the County Supplementary Appropriation Bill 2015.

During a full House committee sitting chaired by Speaker Meshack Maghanga held at the chambers yesterday, Members of the County Assembly (MCAs) said the Appropriation Bill 2015 had variations that the Executive had to amend before it can be approved and forwarded to the Governor for assent.

The stalemate has blocked the transfer of funds from the County Revenue Fund to the Recurrent and Development Accounts for the 2015/2016 Financial Year.

New Budget Estimates and Appropriation Bill that were submitted to the House this morning show that over sh. 3.1 million had been allocated for worker’s salaries while sh. 707 million had been allocated to capital expenditure.

The same reveal that the Ward Equalization fund had been reduced from sh. 20 million to sh. 6 million for each ward.

The Chairman of the Budget and Appropriation Committee of the county assembly who is also the MCA for Mwatate Ward Mr. Arresmus Mwarabu said the Executive had last week submitted Budget Estimates and Appropriation Bill, which they approved after making some amendments.

“The special house sitting was to discuss the Appropriation Bill only for the executive to submit new estimates that did not capture the amendments we had made. However the governor has requested that we hold a meeting this evening to discuss the variations before the Assembly can discuss the Bill” he said.

In another development Mr. Mwarabu hasexpressed concern over the new County Secretary who was appointed by Governor Mruttu in acting capacity

“Mr.Speaker sir, the County Government Act, 2012 Section 44 (2) stipulates that the County Secretary shall be nominated by the Governor from persons competitively sourced from amongst persons who are university graduates with at least 10 years experience in administration and management, and with the approval of the County Assembly before being appointed by the governor” he read.

Mr. Mwarabu said the duties of the county secretary were demanding and the new appointee should be vetted and approved as per statutory requirements.

He added that the predecessor of the new office holder was from the same national government and the Taita Taveta County Assembly cannot work with a top official in such a capacity without having known, vetted, ascertained and approved his requisite credentials and ability.

“I raise this statement that requires the above procedure to be adhered to by the Executive by submitting to this house the name of the Acting County Secretary within a period of two weeks,” he added.

The former County Secretary Mr. Patrick Meso stepped aside after the County Assembly Report on the status and implementation of the County projects, Pending and wage bills and general performance and current state of the County Government recommended his immediate dismissal.

The MCAs did not mention the name of the acting county secretary.

By Rose Mwatee.