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Governor Mike Sonko pictured pictured in his private office in Nairobi's Upper Hill wearing a face shield/FILE/COUNTY PRESS

Kenya

Sonko locks horns with MCAs over supplementary budget

NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 18- Nairobi County Assembly has rejected a memorandum by Governor Mike Sonko seeking amendments on the Nairobi City County Supplementary Appropriation Bill, 2020, to allocate some Sh15 billion to the Nairobi Metropolitan Authority.

This comes two days after the Governor failed to sign the bill, saying it contradicts provisions of the Public Finance Management Act and the County Governments Act.

But in a rejoinder, Speaker Beatrice Elachi defended the Assembly while directing the same bill be returned to the Governor for consideration-without the recommended changes.

“That in accordance with Section 24 (5) of the County Governments Act, 2012, the Nairobi City County Supplementary Appropriation Bill, 2020 be returned to the Governor forthwith for Assent in a manner it was passed by this Assembly on Thursday 2nd April, 2020. Hon. Members, it is so directed,” reads a section of Elachi’s directive.

She said the Assembly, must be allowed to exercise its powers to legislate, saying that “is part of the principle of checks and balances.”

The Speaker, however, noted that “ When the Governor is presented with the Bill, he can either sign it into law or refer the Bill back to the County Assembly with a memorandum outlining reasons for the referral. At this juncture, I wish to remind H.E the Governor that the wording of the law is referral and not refuse as worded in his message.”

The Governor had recommended the monies to be slashed, despite Major General Mohamed Badi-led authority having taken over key County responsibilities.

The move by Elachi has set a new stage for an ever-escalating push and pull between City Hall and NMS.

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Sonko claims the amendments by the Assembly were done without the input of the County’s Finance Executive contrary to provisions of Section 131 (2) of the Public Finance Management Act and Section 21(3) of the County Governments Act.

In a letter to the Speaker, the Governor also claimed that the Supplementary Bill submitted for his assent had approved funds that were never meant for the transferred functions.

He said the proposed allocations were contrary to the deed of transfer he signed on February 26.

Sonko said the monies being demanded were never allocated to functions that were transferred to NMS.

“A blanket transfer of all the support functions to NMS deny the remaining functions the same ancillary services they require to deliver on their constitutional mandate,” he said.

The Governor recently opposed the redeployment of 6000 county workers to NMS.

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