NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 3 – The stalemate occasioned by the delayed disbursement of bursary funds in Nairobi County continued on Wednesday with Members of County Assembly disrupting a plenary session for the second day in a row.
MCAs have blamed the county Executive accusing the Governor Mike Sonko-led administration of sabotaging the interests of their constituents.
The members dramatically ended a plenary session on Wednesday chanting “no bursaries, no sittings,” with some sitting on the floor.
The MCAs have vowed that they will only resume their sittings only after bursary funds allocated under the 2018/19 financial year are released.
This comes even as the County Treasury and Controller of Budget continue to engage in a blame game over the delayed release of the funds.
The County Executive has been blaming the Controller of Budget for the delay in disbursing the funds, while the Controller of Budget has accused the Treasury of failing to provide crucial documents.
An officer from the Controller of Budget who appeared before the Assembly’s Budget and Appropriations on Wednesday said that they could not okay the funds since the County Treasury had not submitted financial returns for bursaries issued under the previous financial year.
“The Public Finance Management Act requires funds administrator to provide financial returns before subsequent request is approved, therefore our hands are tied,” said Stephen Okelo.
Okelo told the committee that they had severally asked for the crucial documents but the County Treasury didn’t give satisfactory responses.
According to Controller of Budget, a total of Sh90 million was not accounted for, from the Sh357 million bursary funds issued in the financial year 2017/18.
Nairobi Finance County Executive Council Member Charles Kerich who had also appeared before the committee placed the blame on the Education department.
He said the management of bursary is entirely under the Education docket.
According to Kerich, Education department failed to file the financial returns required by the Controller of Budget.
Kerich further tabled a report from the Cooperative Bank which he said accounts for all the monies in question.
“This comprehensive statement from Coop Bank shows that the Sh357 million is accounted for, I therefore urge the COB to go through it and authorize the release of those funds,” said Kerich.
The officer from the Controller of Budget said they need more time to go through the report since it was tabled on Wednesday during the committee session.
The funds in question for the financial year 2018/19 amount to Sh400 million.