Kitui reps fight with Ngilu costs them June salaries

By , K24 Digital
On Wed, 17 Jul, 2019 15:48 | 2 mins read
Charity Ngilu
Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu in a past function. PHOTO/Courtesy
Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu in a past function. Mrs Ngilu has been on a warring path with county assembly members after they rejected a supplementary budget. PHOTO | COURTESY

Kitui ward representatives and all the county staff are a broke lot after the governor, Ms Charity Ngilu, failed to pay them last month.

The MCAs have been on a war path with Ms Ngilu after they rejected a Sh11 billion 2018-19 supplementary budget in a move allegedly meant to check the governor over breaking the rule of law.

The County's finance minister Mary Nguli had presented the supplementary budget several weeks to the end of the fiscal year but the MCAs rejected.

Thereafter the MCAs passed the 2019/2020 budget on June 28, and Kitui County Speaker George Ndotto failed to inform the Controller of Budget (COB) with the seven days provided by the law, according to Ms Ngilu.

Ms Ngilu sued the Speaker to compel him to release the letter informing the COB so that her administration can access devolved funds to pay salaries.

In the suit filed this week, the governor accused the Speaker of not communicating in writing to the COBt on June 28 or seven days after passing this year's budget.

The county executive said the Speaker acted negligently since he does not have the freedom to delay communication of the county assembly's decision beyond the time period provided by the Public Finance Management Act.

Earlier the Controller of Budget wrote to the Kitui Finance minister Mary Nguli informing her that she could only authorise the release of funds once the COB has a letter from the county assembly.

The MCAs on Wednesday held a press briefing where they claimed that they were shocked to learn that Ms Ngilu had sued the Speaker for failing to sign the release of funds for the 2019/2020 budget.

Led by the Kitui County Majority Leader Peter Kilonzo, the reps said their salaries were factored in the 2018/19 budget and should have been paid long time ago.

He said their relationship with the governor had turned sour because of their insistence on obeying the law. They vowed not to allow the governor “misuse funds and expect to silence them.”

“During our visit last week to the Controller of Budget, they made it clear that the salaries had been released and they were surprised that the staff had not been paid. Now we want the executive to tell us where the money went,” said Mr David Thuvi, who is Kwamutonga Ward representative.