NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 30 – The Kiambu County Government now claims there was an error in the Supplementary Appropriation Bill submitted to the County Assembly indicating they were to purchase 72 vehicles when it actually intended to buy 42.
Deputy Governor Gerald Gakuha who appeared before the Senate Finance Committee on behalf of the Kiambu Governor says the Bill failed to correct the typo hence resulting in the petition against the Executive.
“In the Cabinet we discussed the procurement of 72 vehicles then we did the budget but the final number that we agreed to buy was 42 vehicles for Sh221 million. Unfortunately that number of 72 vehicles went to the County Assembly,” said Gakuha.
The Deputy Governor who appeared together with the CEC Finance Mary Ngugi was put to task to explain whether procuring the vehicles for Sh221 million was a priority for the county yet there were other needs, with the Senators further seeking to find out whether the public had been informed of this decision.
Gakuha insisted the vehicles were vital for the county to achieve its objectives, sentiments shared by the CEC finance.
“It became necessary as it was impossible to deliver on the programs of the County Assembly without mobility and the functions themselves were highly dependent on them; that is why we submitted the supplementary estimates to the County Assembly,” she said.
She said the money was reallocated from other recurrent votes as the county had made savings amounting Sh325 million from its first nine months of operation and the Sh221 million was deducted from that.
West Pokot Senator John Lonyang’apuo questioned why the county chose a brand of off road vehicles yet the terrain of Kiambu County was plain adding that the vehicles were expensive to maintain.
“Those vehicles are expensive to maintain, why would that be an option? As Kiambu, you should be talking about motorbikes,” he quipped.
Ngugi further defended the county from allegations that there was no public participation stating that in fact some of the disgruntled MCAs were even aware of the decision to purchase the vehicles.
“The Executive held public hearings and what was presented to the County Assembly was a contribution by the people, it is what they wanted,” stated Ngugi.
The Executive is now expected to furnish the committee with relevant documents supporting their claims when they appear before the committee next week.
They are also expected to explain why in the in the current budget there is an allocation of Sh102 million for a similar project.
So far the county has purchased 40 vehicles according to the Deputy Governor.
Nine Members of the County Assembly had petitioned the Senate to suspend the purchase of the vehicles by the County government saying the approval of Sh221 million for their purchase was not done procedurally.