Executive sues MCAs over flawed budget

Dr Charles Githinji, the Nyeri County Finance Executive. PHOTO | FILE
Dr Charles Githinji, the Nyeri County Finance Executive. PHOTO | FILE 

A Nyeri executive has sued the County Assembly for passing a budget that is not within reviewed estimates.

Charles Githinji, the Finance executive, told High Court Judge Jairus Ngaah that despite the County Assembly having passed the budget on Wednesday, he still had burning issues with it.

Through lawyer Kimathi Nderitu, Dr Githinji said: “We are requesting to be given seven days to study the passed budget estimates and then file a further affidavit on the same.”

He has sued the County Assembly and the Controller of Budget over a stalemate that has crippled services in the county for four months.

The county government, he said, owes suppliers and contractors a total of Sh97,209,291 million.

On Wednesday, MCAs passed the Sh6.4 billion budget but scrapped Sh13 million proposed for Governor Nderitu Gachagua’s car. Many welcomed the passing of the budget, hoping that residents would receive services.

In his court papers, Dr Githinji argues that since June 30 services have stalled after the County Assembly passed a budget — which governor Nderitu Gachagua refused to assent to — contrary to the Constitution. Dr Githinji argues that the stalemate has greatly affected service delivery in the health sector, education and development projects.

Further, he argues that the budget stalemate caused doctors to go on strike for two weeks as the county could not meet their demands due to lack of funding.

Justice Ngaah had certified the case as urgent and ordered that the sued parties be served with court papers to enable the case to be heard before issuing any interim orders.

However, the judge took the executive to task to explain why he had not served the County Assembly, the Controller of Budget and the county government with the papers despite the case having been certified as urgent.

The County Assembly and the Controller of Budget were not present in court as they had not been notified.

“Why have you not served the other parties yet you are complaining that the budget stalemate has crippled services?,” posed Justice Ngaah.
This is the second case to be filed in court over the budget stalemate.

Chinga MCA Paul Mwangi Ngiria, an ally of Mr Gachagua,  and 19 residents also have a pending case before the High Court in Nyeri seeking to unlock the budget stalemate.

Justice Ngaah ordered Dr Githinji to serve all the parties sued in the case and the Nyeri county government with the court papers. The case will be mentioned on November 17.