What you need to know:
- Governor Sonko refused to sign into law the Nairobi City County Appropriations Bill, 2020 that had been forwarded to him last Thursday, referring it back to the county assembly.
- The Bill, which was passed by the assembly on October 8, approved a budget of Sh37.7 billion. It gave his administration Sh8.4 billion while Sh27.1 billion was allocated to NMS, with the rest going to the county assembly.
Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) and the city county government will have to wait longer to access funds for service delivery after the assembly deferred consideration of Governor Mike Sonko’s memorandum.
The memorandum, which was forwarded to Speaker Benson Mutura on Thursday after Governor Sonko rejected the county’s Sh37.7 billion budget, will now only be considered next month.
MCAs on recess
Speaker Mutura said that the process of consideration of the governor’s memorandum will begin after MCAs get back from their short recess. The assembly adjourned on Thursday for a two-week recess and will return on November 3, 2020.
“The memorandum was brought to the assembly after we adjourned for recess. The consideration of the same will have to wait until plenary resumes in two-week. If we feel that there is an urgency to consider the memorandum, then we can call for a special sitting but as things currently stand, it will have to wait,” said Mr Mutura.
On his part, the Budget and Appropriations Committee chairman Robert Mbatia said they were waiting for a signal from the Speaker and once he commits the memorandum to the budget committee, they will have 21 days to look at it.
He explained that the committee would consider the memorandum by looking at its merits and demerits before tabling its report for debate by the House.
“Since the memorandum was brought after the adjournment of the assembly for recess, the Speaker can decide to call for a special sitting or alternatively wait for after recess,” said Mr Mbatia.
However, Speaker Mutura ruled out any possibility of a special sitting being called saying there was no rush to consider the memorandum.
Governor Sonko refused to sign into law the Nairobi City County Appropriations Bill, 2020 that had been forwarded to him last Thursday, referring it back to the county assembly.
The Bill, which was passed by the assembly on October 8, approved a budget of Sh37.7 billion. It gave his administration Sh8.4 billion while Sh27.1 billion was allocated to NMS, with the rest going to the county assembly.
In the memorandum, the City Hall boss rejected the budget saying it had a huge deficit. He called for allocations to NMS to be voided while also saying that adjustments made to the Executive’s earlier budget were unlawful.
He called for the assembly to reduce the budget to Sh31.6 billion from Sh37.5 billion in accordance with the County Fiscal Strategy Paper 2020/2021 and budget estimates presented to it by Finance Executive Allan Igambi in February and April, respectively arguing that the budget had contravened provisions of the Public Finance Management Act 31(c) which provides that the total budgeted revenue and expenditure must be balanced.
“I have reviewed the Bill as presented to me for assent and the total budget and the total projected revenues for 2020/2021 financial year is Sh31.6 billion against the total expenditure of Sh37.5 billion leaving a shortfall of Sh5.8 billion, which is against PFM Act regulations,” he said.
Mr Sonko also raised concerns over adjustments made by the assembly to various votes saying they exceeded the one percent threshold as provided for in law.
He also said the budget violates article 5.2 and 5.3 of the Deed of Transfer of functions.