NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 5 – The Kiambu County Government has been barred from implementing Sh16.5 billion supplementary budget for 2019.
High Court Judge James Makau said no funds should be released from the National Treasury pending the hearing and determination of a constitutional petition filed by 10 members of the County Assembly.
MCAs through lawyers James Mamboleo and Titus Ochichi told the judge that the Governor Ferdinand Waititu has signed int law the appropriation Bill 2019 and is in the process of acquiring funds from the National Treasury.
The lawyers submitted that the County Assembly while passing the Appropriation Bill did not follow the Assembly rules and procedures, saying that some of the petitioners, Stanley Kiarie, Peter Karuga, John Ngure Samuel Kimani among others were not consulted.
“The relevant committee in Finance, Budget and Appropriation Committee of the County Assembly were not involved and that the Bill was not moved as stipulated in the Standing Orders,” the court heard.
They argued that the process of presenting, tabling and moving motions dealing with Budget, Finance and Appropriation Bill is the sole mandate of the relevant committee of the County Assembly which in this case was involved.
The court heard that on March 19, 2019 the Procedure and Rules Committee met privately and split the Finance, Budget and Appropriation Committee into two, the Finance and Economic Committee and Budget Appropriation Committee which act is illegal and unlawful.
The lawyers pointed out that on March 21, 2019 an ad-hoc committee was created illegally and contrary to the Standing Orders purposely to pass the supplementary Appropriation Bill No.3, saying the move was meant to kick out the relevant committee which had refused to pass the Bill.
“Article 2 (3) of the County Governments Act provides that a money Bill the County Assembly may proceed only in accordance with the recommendations of the relevant committee of the County Assembly and getting views of County Executive Committee members responsible for Finance,” the court heard.
The lawyers said that it was unprocedural for the ad-hoc committee to present the supplementary Bill, it was in breach of the Standing Orders and the principles guiding all aspect of public finance in the country as enshrined in the Constitution.
The judge directed that the County Government of Kiambu and the Controller of Budget file their response to the petition within seven days and the matter be mentioned on April 9, 2019 for further directions.