The lawmakers said that they were following the presidential pronouncement where President Kenyatta announced MCAs will get a Ksh 2 million car grant in what was seen as an incentive to pass the BBI initiative.
The amount was included in the Ksh 2 billion Nairobi County budget proposal with Ksh 1.4 billion going to recurrent expenditure and Ksh 600 million for development. In the supplementary budget, Ksh 171 million was set aside for clearing pending bills as a result of suspended payments.
From the Ksh 171 million, Ksh 26 million will be used to cater for various payments including MCAs and staff car loans and mortgage repayments of Ksh 26 million. The MCAs will also debate on the amount they will re-allocate for the acquisition of motor vehicles.
“This is directed towards solving transport/mobility challenges faced by various holders of leadership offices,” an excerpt of the budget reads.
As of Monday, February 22, 12 out of the 24 required county assemblies had approved the bill.
The Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) CEO Anne Gitau further approved the deal between Kenyatta and MCAs despite critics raising concerns. SRC wrote to the Council of Governors (COG) indicating that the agreement had been sealed
County Assemblies Forum chairman, Wahome Ndegwa, said that 90 percent of the 47 assemblies have already implemented the directive by including it in their supplementary budgets. The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) however, wants the funds to be charged a 30 percent tax, a move the lawmakers oppose.
KRA could raise nearly Ksh1.4 billion from the MCAs if a waiver is not granted on the deal which will consume Ksh 4.5 billion taxpayers money.
Meanwhile, Nairobi County Assembly also raised the allocation for staff salaries and allowances by Ksh747.4 million in the new budget proposal as it recruits employees to replace those approaching retirement.
City Hall increased the allocation for staff costs from Ksh 5.62 billion to Ksh 6.01 billion. The recruitment drive commenced in 2019 with the hiring of 1,490 additional workers comprising 800 security constables, 200 firefighters and over 400 Early Childhood Development and Education (ECDE) caregivers.
The county also reallocated Ksh 8.5 million towards compensation to employees, Ksh 19.7 million to cater for committees’ quarterly progress retreats and workshops, Ksh 17 million for legislative activities such as tournaments and Ksh 9 million for the training of clerks.