, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 18 – The Transition Authority says it needs Sh1.09 billion in order to complete its constitutional mandate ahead of the expiry of its term in March 2016.
During the presentation of a plea to the Senate Legal Affairs and Human Rights Committee chaired by Busia Senator Amos Wako over budget challenges, the TA complained over lack of funds, saying it has greatly affected the execution of its mandate.
“The majority of functions have already been transferred but there still remains quite a number of functions that need to be analysed and transferred. You should transfer functions together with the costing but we could not do it at that time because we did not have the resources; so what we have started doing now is the costing for functions not only for those functions that have been transferred, but also for those under the national government,” said the Transition Authority chairman Kinuthia wa Mwangi.
He now says if TA is not issued with the funds, the country may not achieve successful devolution.
“The TA has continued to be underfunded since inception. This has adversely affected the performance of the authority in the implementation of its mandate within the stipulated phases and timelines. If the trend continues, the country may not attain successful transition to a devolved system of government as envisaged in the Constitution of Kenya,” read a quote from the report on achievements, pending activities and budgets presented to the Senate committee.
Since its inception in July 2012, the authority has never been issued with funding as per their proposal.
During the 2012/2013 financial year, the authority received Sh758 million. In the 2013/2014 financial year they received Sh660 million against a budget request of Sh11.965 billion. In the current financial year, the authority received Sh687 million against a budget of Sh1.64 billion.
The authority now wants the Senate to intervene in ensuring the restoration of the TA vote, the allocation of adequate funds to enable it achieve its mandate and enacting of a law to operationalise the mechanism and criteria for the transfer of public assets and liabilities among others.
Makueni Senator Mutula Kilonzo Jr however hit back at the Transition Authority raising questions on alleged mismanagement by officials during the transition period, further stating that it would be difficult for the Senate to defend it over the claims.
“I don’t know whether you have read the audit reports from the Auditor General. They paint a very bad picture and we at Senate find it very difficult to defend the Transition Authority; the reports for example of Makueni indicate that there are no lists of assets and liabilities, that money was withdrawn from the accounts of all town councils and no one knows where that money went to… money has disappeared during the period Transition Authority was in office,” Mutula Jr posed.
Kinuthia however defended himself saying TA did not have a hand the in the loss of millions of shillings in assets during the transition period, saying the authority only played a facilitator role.
He also said the authority intended to create an inventory of all public assets and liabilities to determine where they belong (county or national government), and those found guilty of possessing land or property alleged to have been stolen would be prosecuted.
During the appearance of Governors before the Senate Public Accounts and Investments Committee some properties registered under local authorities were found to be missing while some were found to have been taken over by individuals who now claim ownership. The documents showing transfer are however mysteriously missing.
Senator Wako (Busia) has given the authority one week to write a report on their issues of concern to be tabled on the Floor of the Senate so as to commence the process of lobbying for more funds to execute their mandate before the expiry of their term.