Mombasa County Assembly has approved budget estimates of Sh21.7 billion. This was after the county’s budget and appropriation committee slashed the previous budget of Sh33.9 billion by Sh12.2 billion.
The earlier budget had surpassed that of Nairobi County by Sh2.4 billion. It is the third time that the budget estimates have been revised.
In April, governor Hassan Ali Joho unveiled Sh22.3 billion budget estimates while in May, leader of majority Khamis Mwabashiri presented to the County Assembly a different budget of Sh33.9 billion.
Speaker Thadius Rajwayi said that he had to convene a special sitting on Saturday for the assembly members to discuss the revised budget.
Budget and Appropriation Committee chairman Riziki Bekitsao presented the budget estimates for discussion. But as the members were deliberating on the budget, he cut them short and asked them to approve it as they were rushing against time.
It took less than 10 minutes for the members to approve the Appropriation Bill 2013.
Mr Rajwayi said that the approved budget estimates would be handed to the governor for assenting. Following the approval of the Sh21.7 billion budget, the county would now have a deficit of Sh9.3 billion.
In the Appropriation Bill, Sh6.1 billion has been earmarked for salaries and expenditure of Mombasa including repayment of debts.
The county inherited a Sh3 billion debt from the defunct Municipal Council of Mombasa. Sh1.4 billion has been set aside for salaries and expenses of the county’s executive headquarters’ office including expenditure on administration and financial services.
The County Assembly will get Sh979 million for salaries and operations.
On development expenditure, the Sh6.3 billion which had been set aside for the office of the governor was slashed to Sh1 billion. Development expenditure for Mombasa city was cut from Sh5 billion to Sh2.3 billion.
A source from the county, indicated that the previous budget estimates of Sh33.9 billion had a shortfall of more than Sh21 billion, which could easily sink the county into more debts.
“The previous budget was unrealistic and of political nature and could cause the county financial troubles,” he said.
Finance executive Walid Khalid was said to have revised the budget estimates and advised that the estimates be reduced from Sh33.9 billion to Sh21.7 billion.