October 18th 2017

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Garissa governor Jama looks to better relations with MCAs

Governor Jama regretted that the debate about the rejection of the budget estimates had been politicized by his opponents. But he admitted that the move has derailed the government’s operations including the payment of contractors.

By Free Press Correspondentnewsdesk@kenyafreepress.comTuesday, 30 Aug 2016 14:03 EAT

After being at loggerheads with his Members of the County Assembly (MCAs) for the better part of this year, Garissa Governor Nathif Jama has made a rapprochement with the legislators. The two sides have resolved long standing differences about political and administration issues that peaked in June when the MCAs rejected the governor’s budget estimates for the 2016/17 financial year.

The rejection of the finance bills which underlined the governor’s Sh7.9 billion budget has gravely disrupted operations of the county, undercutting the government’s ability to pay for goods and services already utilized or to procure new ones. “We had divergences in terms of interpretation of some of the budget lines but I am happy the issues have been ironed out. I have no doubt the estimates will be passed and approved by the assembly soon,” said Jama last week. The estimates were unanimously rejected by 48 MCAs on June 30.

The imminence of a breakthrough on the matter was also announced by Dadaab MCA Mohamed Abdi, an ally of the governor who at one time brokered a meeting between the MCAs and the governor that never took place. “Since the budget was shot down, we  have done a report and resolved our differences as MCAs for the interest of Garissa residents who have been looking upon their leaders to deliver their pledges on the people who elected them into office,” declared the MCA.

Governor Jama regretted that the debate about the rejection of the budget estimates had been politicized by his opponents. But he admitted that the move has derailed the government’s operations including the payment of contractors. “With this behind us, we will be focusing on the delivery of quality services to our people especially in health and water,” he told this writer.

The MCAs in disproving the budget said it flouted ceilings adopted by the house in the county Fiscal Strategy Paper as required in the Public Financial Management Act.

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