Counties splashed Sh514m on travels in three months

The country’s 47 counties spent Sh514 million on domestic and foreign travels between July and September last year, a government audit report reveals.

According to the report by the Controller of Budget Agnes Odhiambo, the county assemblies used Sh508.2 million for travels in three months

The high-spending was due to campaigns in July and early August prior to the General Election last year.

Governors mounted vigorous campaigns in a make-or-break vote hunts as they battled to defend their seats. Eventually, 25 of them lost their coveted positions during the August 8 poll.

In total, devolved units consumed Sh1.02 billion in the first quarter, representing a 10.6 per cent of the total budget allocation towards domestic and foreign travel for the 2017/financial year.

Sh9.69 billion had been approved for local and foreign travel by both county executives and county assemblies during the current financial year.

The counties’ total expenditure on travels for the three months was a decrease from 22.9 per cent in the first quarter of the 2016/17 financial year when Sh2.78 billion was incurred.

Narok county executive under Governor Samuel Tunai was the highest spender on trips at Sh77.7 million followed by Kisii at Sh34.3 million, former Homa Bay Governor Cyprian Awiti’s administration used Sh33.9 million and former Kiambu Governor William Kabogo Sh29.3 million.

The local and foreign travel expenditure was for deputy governors, county executive committee members, chief officers and other senior officers of the county executives.

Other high-spending county executives include Tatita Taveta (Sh27 million), Murang’a (Sh24.3 million),Kajiado (Sh22 million) and Kilifi at Sh19 million.

Mombasa, Migori, Meru, Samburu, Tana River and Marsabit failed to file to the Controller of Budget’s office their expenditures during the period under review.

Mandera under Governor Ali Roba was the lowest spender on trips at Sh3.3 million followed by Tharaka Nithi which used Sh3.2 million.

Bungoma and Taita Taveta exceeded SRC’s recommended monthly maximum of Sh80, 000 for commitee sittings. Bungoma MCAs got Sh112,491 and Taita Taveta Sh92,131.

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