, MOMBASA, Kenya, May 23 – Senate Speaker Kenneth Lusaka has appealed to the State to ensure county funds are disbursed promptly.
Speaking during the weeklong third Annual Legislative Summit, Lusaka noted that inordinate delay translates into costly overdrafts and political ill will from disillusioned service providers.
Lusaka cited his experience as former Bungoma Governor as he advised the devolved units should intensify their revenue collection and seal all financial loopholes.
He revealed that the Senate has proposed the creation of two cash disbursement schedules; one for the equitable share and the other for conditional grants to ensure that there is no delay in remitting of funds like it occurred in last financial years.
Noting that there is need for counties to sell a different image of the County Assemblies, he called upon them to take their oversight and watchdog functions seriously.
“Let people know that MCAs do budgeting and oversight functions at the county level,” he urged the participants who included 40 Senators and hundreds of MCAs from all parts of the country.
Speaker Lusaka also divulged that Senate is ready to pass the County Pensions Bill and the Ward Development Fund and will not interfere with the powers of the County Assemblies when they are performing their budget-making role.
This came as Deputy President William Ruto warned that Sh35 billion is at risk because there is no formal mechanism of how county pension money will be taken care of.
Ruto told Senators and County Assemblies legislators attending the summit that they need to facilitate a meeting with scheme administrators Local Authorities Provident Fund (LAPFUND) and the Local Authorities Pensions Trust (LAPTRUST) to come up with a unified bill.
The DP said the government will adopt agreed changes in its County Pension Scheme Bill, 2017, which was introduced in the National Assembly and if it sails through, it will establish the County Pension Scheme to replace LAPFUND.
LAPFUND managed a contribution scheme that offered retirement benefits for lower cadre staff of the former local authorities while LAPTRUST was created for senior employees.
Also addressing the forum, the County Assemblies’ Forum Chairperson Johnson Osoi implored upon the Senate to pass the Bill on the pension scheme for the Counties and the Inter-governmental relations (Amendment) Bill, to give his body a legal backing.
He also urged that the Senate considers incorporating the Women Caucus within the formal structures