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During the six months period, the total expenditure for the County was Kshs 427.5 million surpassing the funds released by 26 per cent. This is attributed to the use of development funds for recurrent expenditure.

Kwale County Budget Review - July till December 2013The total expenditure translated to an absorption rate of 10 per cent of the annual budget. Out of the total expenditure, Kshs.407.5 million (95%) was spent on recurrent activities while Kshs.19.7 million (5%) was spent on development projects. The recurrent expenditure for the period July to December, 2013 represented 120 per cent of the funds released for recurrent activities. This was an absorption rate of 14.2 per cent of the annual recurrent budget. Similarly, the development expenditure was 4.3 per cent of the development funds released during the period translating to an absorption rate of 1.3 per cent of the annual development budget.

Only 5% were spent on Development

Further analysis of operations and maintenance shows that expenditure on Utilities, Supplies and services takes a lead at Kshs 142.8 million (50%) while Kshs.52.9 million (18%) was spent on Domestic and foreign travel, Kshs 40.1 million (14%) on training, Kshs 10.7 million (4%) on general office supplies; Kshs 10.7 million (4%) on County Assembly siting allowances; Kshs 7 million (2%) on conferences and hospitality and Kshs.6.5 million (2.2%) on printing, advertising and information supplies.

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Kwale County women’s representative Zainab Chidzuga wants the Mining Bill reviewed, saying it confers excessive powers on the Cabinet Secretary in charge of the docket. Chidzuga said the bill vests powers on the CS “as though mining were his private property”.

Zainab Chidzuga Woman Representative KwaleShe said if left unchanged, the provisions could lead to abuse of office by future office occupants. She singled out the provision in the Bill that gives the CS powers to, singlehandedly, issue and revoke permits of mining firms saying it goes against the policy of public participation, consultation and transparency of government activities. “We have to trim these powers. Most of us (legislators) are not comfortable with the powers vested upon the Cabinet Secretary because such powers can corrupt anyone,” she said. Chidzuga said Coast legislators will push for public participation and involvement of county governments. “We want counties to be involved in mining and all small miners should be left to the counties. We are also looking to review the Base Titanium agreement that was made some years back because it does not outline how residents will benefit,” she said.

Chidzuga made the remarks on Tuesday at Hill Park Hotel in Tiwi, Kwale during a two days’ forum organised by civil society groups to discuss the Mining Bill. Coast leaders, including Kwale governor Salim Mvurya, have in the past criticised the national government for failing to consult them over the issue of loyalties. They accuse the national government of failing to consult the county government before the export begun of Titanium began. “The royalty being paid is very low. The county government and residents who live where the mineral is being extracted ought to be paid the same royalty as the national government,” said Mvurya in an earlier interview. Chidzuga said the government’s initial agreement with Tiomin Kenya (which later sold to Base Titanium) was that there would be a renegotiation of royalties after five years.

She said this is yet to happen despite the fact that Base Titanium has also started excavation. She said the county proposed that residents should receive a royalty of 10 per cent, counties 35 per cent and national government 55 per cent.

She said this is yet to happen despite the fact that Base Titanium has also started excavation. She said the county proposed that residents should receive a royalty of 10 per cent, counties 35 per cent and national government 55 per cent.
Read more at: http://www.standardmedia.co.ke/?articleID=2000111377&story_title=mp-provisions-in-mining-bill-could-lead-to-abuse&pageNo=2
She said this is yet to happen despite the fact that Base Titanium has also started excavation. She said the county proposed that residents should receive a royalty of 10 per cent, counties 35 per cent and national government 55 per cent.
Read more at: http://www.standardmedia.co.ke/?articleID=2000111377&story_title=mp-provisions-in-mining-bill-could-lead-to-abuse&pageNo=2

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MCAs, the new kids on the block in county politics are enjoying unrivaled supremacy. They have dramatically attracted national attention as the whips with which to bludgeon the governors. This is evident in Embu where the Governor, Martin Wambora has survived two scathing attempts of dislodgement. They have also caused displeasure to Kericho Governor and are reportedly training their guns in other counties.

Kwale MCAIn an orchestrated move, they have seduced the senate which was hitherto seen to be dormant to go to work-through ad hoc committees, ostensibly to protect devolution. But questions are already being asked whether the MCAs actions against the governors are meant to safeguard devolution or undermine it.

A very ugly theory seems to be gaining currency. That in the county assemblies, nearly all over the country, reside masters and mistresses of blackmail. That they’ve developed an habit of pushing for personal agendas to the county executive which if not handled in their favour, they pick fights with the governors. And given the powers they derive from the constitution and the county governments act, the governors have no option but to dance to their (MCAs) tunes. Whether these allegations are true or not is not for me to judge; but that’s what pundits are saying.

But should this be the case, then I see MCAs getting into more peril than the governors. In fact, it’s loudly whispered that the governors have gone back to the drawing boards to develop strategies of countering the rogue county assembly members. A strategist who is privy to the plans of the governors informed Upfront Tales that “if the plan being worked out by the county executives materializes, the governors will enjoy the longest laughter ever.”

“The recall clause is only a few months away to be operational. A good number of voters seem to be sympathetic with the governors in this war between them and the assemblies; the governors are likely to influence successful recalls of MCAs in their country if they too start playing hard ball,” says my informant who goes further to explain that some elected MCAs receive less than 3000 votes to be in the assembly.

“If the governors decide to play rough and facilitate the recall clause by say, buyin the requisite 30% of the voters (governors have powerful financial muscles) to append their signatures to recall their representative, this can spoil the party for the rogue MCAs bad style,” asserts the strategist who says this is just a plan F in the governors strategies most of which are just legal and legitimate.

Other observers however think that the MCAs are exercising their constitutional mandate and that they should be left alone to do so; only that they should ensure that they inform the public on their plans as the latter also has an important stake in governance.

The debate is not likely to end too soon and this might just be an opportunity for social media users to give their take.