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Shocker for Sonko over plans to divert Sh25m swearing-in money

Governors-elect have no powers to reallocate funds for their swearing-in and other functions, a lawyer for the Council of Governors (CoG) said on Thursday.

While praising the incoming county bosses for insisting on modest ceremonies, Mr Peter Wanyama said it would be illegal to divert the money.

“They must follow the procedures laid down in the Public Finance Management Act,” he said.

He added that insisting on conducting ceremonies in a particular manner was populist and could only be effected once the governor was sworn into office with the approval of the County Assembly.

“It is good if they do not want to spend the money but they must follow the law. The money must be legally appropriated,” said Mr Wanyama, adding that reallocation of the funds must be done through a supplementary budget to be tabled in the assembly for adoption by MCAs.

POLITICAL STATEMENTS

“What you are hearing are political statements meant to excite the public. The money was set aside for particular activities,” he said.

Nairobi Governor-elect Mike Sonko was the first to reject the Sh25 million set aside for his inauguration, directing the county’s chief finance officer to offset the county employees’ salary arrears.

His Nyeri counterpart Wahome Gakuru followed suit by redirecting the Sh5 million meant for his inauguration to pay electricity bills for Karatina Hospital.

Dr Gakuru said the devolved unit was facing many financial problems.

The former Vision 2030 director said public funds must be used prudently.

Kitui Governor-elect Charity Ngilu ordered the Sh6 million to be used to repair water trucks. She said it made no sense to use such an amount of money on a one-day event.