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Economy

Uhuru faulted on access to cash without revenue law

 Uhuru Kenyatta
President Uhuru Kenyatta. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

The budget unit at State House has questioned the legality of an order issued by President Uhuru Kenyatta permitting withdrawal of cash from the government account for ministries without the law allocating counties budget money.

Justus Nyamunga, the Secretary, Budget and Policy Strategy at State House, said in a letter to the Attorney General that the withdrawal of the funds for ministries before enactment of the Division of Revenue Bill and County Allocation of Revenue Bill would be “legally untenable.”

Division of Revenue Bill, which shares revenue between counties and national government has been derailed following a dispute between the Senate and National Assembly over allocations.

“The purpose of this note therefore, is to bring this matter to your attention and to request the withholding of gazettement of the warrant authority and to urgently initiate a political process to have the bills enacted into laws so as to operationalise the funds,” Mr Nyamunga said in the letter dated June3.

President Kenyatta’s warrant that allowed ministries and agencies to start withdrawing part of the Sh1.47 billion allocated to them for the year starting July was signed on June 28.

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Treasury Secretary Henry Rotich communicated the warrant notice to the ministries on June 2, a day before Mr Nyamunga wrote to the AG Paul Kihara.

MPs and Senators are locked in a stalemate allocations to the devolved units.

MPs have settled on Sh316 billion while senators and governors insist on Sh327 billion.

Mr Nyamunga warned that if the AG gazetted the warrant authority, the Controller of Budget “may be constrained by the Constitution to authorise the withdrawal of the funds."

The constitution in Article 218 envisages the enactment of the two bills into law before April 30. On Tuesday, Kimani Ichung’wah, who chairs the Budget and Appropriations Committee of the National Assembly, published a new version of the bill putting the equitable figure at Sh316 billion.

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