Details have emerged on how the Machakos county Government used 40 million for surveying land that had not been identified for an airstrip. In the 2019/2020 Financial year, the county set aside 100 million to commence works in the airstrip.
Speaking during the presentation of the 2019/2020 Financial year budget to Machakos County Assembly, Machakos Finance CECM Eng. Francis Maliti said that airports were among the largest investments a city or a region could make.
“Studies have shown that a 10 percent increase in passengers in a metro generates a one percent increase in regional employment thus; a good airline service is an important factor in urban economic development. To this end Madam Speaker, I have allocated Kshs. 100million for the initial set up of Machakos Airport to spur economic development.” Maliti said.
The County Assembly passed the budget and allocate the County 100 million for the airstrip.
12 months later, in a supplementary budget, the Department decided to transfer 60 million to fleet management through the supplementary budget. 40 million had already been spent but on the survey.
“Members noted that Ksh 100m allocated for Aerodrome and Airstrip were not committed as budgeted. The CECM informed the members that there was a challenge over the land issue and if settled the project will be implemented.” A report by the Budget Committee of Machakos County Assembly read in part.
“He further informed the committee that Ksh..40m was spent on the survey and the balance of Ksh.. 60m moved to fleet management. The committee questioned how the survey could have been done on land that had not been identified.” The report further read.
The County Assembly called for investigations into the matter.
Masaku professionals Association last week demanded a report on the propriety of all expenditure incurred by the Machakos County Government on airstrips or aerodromes since July 1st, 2013 including a breakdown of such expenditures by budget program, any feasibility studies developed.
The professionals sought a response within 14 days, pointing out that their previous correspondences went unanswered and their issues mostly remained unaddressed.
According to the fourth schedule of the constitution 2010, civil aviation is a function of the National Government. No details of a feasibility study on the project have been availed so far.