Chief of Staff Nchamba Mbithi addressing media in his office. Photo. Mwenda Kinoti

Meru county Chief of Staff Nchamba Mbithi has come out guns blazing and defended governor Kawira Mwangaza over claims that she misappropriated county funds in the last financial year.

This is after Meru Senator Kathuri Murungi addressed a presser in Nairobi alleging the governor misappropriated Sh 12.6 billion from the treasury and also failed to distribute county resources equitably in all wards of the county.

But Mbithi said the Senator lied to the people of Meru about the county expenditure.

 Mbithi termed the Senator a liar and questioned the source of his information because the auditor’s report is yet to be released.

He said the county only received Sh 11.5 billion from the treasury and not the Sh 12.6 billion he had quoted, saying this was misleading Meru and Kenyans at large.

“It is true that we expected Sh 12.6 billion from the treasury but only received Sh 11.5 billion during the last financial year. We also expected to be awarded a grant of Sh  1. 2 billion but only managed to get Sh 425 million after the law was changed and in the process the county was denied the extra funds which we had already budgeted for. Due to introduction of such laws, we did not receive approximately  Sh 1.1 billion,” said Mbithi.

Addressing the media in his office, Mbithi said they anticipated to collect revenue amounting to Sh 600 million but only managed to get Sh 418 million. 

He said the difference is a big margin which denied the devolved unit an opportunity to implement some of the budgeted projects.

He cautioned Senator Murungi against deliberately lying to Meru community and Kenyans for his own selfish and personal gains noting the later is to blame for the county’s failure to get the anticipated amount.

“The work of Senator is to solicit for funds but he slept on the job and we only got Sh 856 million. The Senator has greatly failed us. We had budgeted for it but Murungi never fought for it at the national level despite that being his constitutional duty. Want he knows is lying and witch hunting for his own selfish and personal gains. We are terribly saddened by his incompetence,” said Mbithi.

He said the official audit report will be released in August and wondered the source behind the Senator briefing. 

Mbithi said after the release of the official report they will compare notes and prove Murungi wrong because his source of information is dubious and unreliable.

He noted that that the county resources have been equitably distributed with each ward getting Sh 10 million.

“There is equal distribution of resources across all wards in the county through the Ward Fund with each getting Sh 10 million. We were using the budget from the previous regime because we had no time to amend it due to infighting,” said Mbithi.

The COS said that when they took over the county government, there were a lot of problems and wrangles pitting the executive against the legislative leading to stalling of development projects for some time. 

He however exonerated the MCAs from blame saying they were not the source of the war but were being incited by the Senator.

“The war was spearheaded and funded by Senator Murungi. He has never believed that Mwangaza is the governor of Meru. That is why he has been fighting her through witch hunting and proxies,” said the COS.

He reassured the residents that the county government was intact and performing its mandate instead of empty politicking.

“The Senator should tone down on politics and allow the governor time to serve the electorate. In case he doesn’t, we  shall engage him directly because he is not in the league of governor Mwangaza. If it was not for the tag of war, we would have changed some things and implemented what was in governor Mwangaza manifesto,” he noted.

He said the county government had sunk 34 boreholes and tested the water to ensure it is safe noting that the second phase will be to equip them with solar and water distribution in a bid to make them operational.

He said they inherited a huge wage bill but the governor has tried to reduce it.

“There were 21 chief officers but we have reduced them to seven, a lot of travel and consumables have been reduced and workers who had two and half months salary arrears have been paid up to date. Pending bills stood at 1.2 billion and it has gone down to Sh 700 million,” said the COS.

He said that unlike the previous regimes the governor did not employ new staff but retained the existing ones unless in cases it was completely necessary and unavoidable.


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