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Kitui: Malombe and Kinengo dismiss high wage bill claims

Kitui Governor Julius Malombe and Speaker Kevin Kinengo have disagreed with reports claiming the county is spending 75 percent of its revenue on salaries.

According to Controller of Budget Margaret Nyakang’o, Kitui collected Sh3.9 billion in revenue. It went on to spend 75 percent of it on wages and 25 percent on development.

Nyakang’o spoke at the National Wage Bill Conference in Nairobi on Tuesday. He stated that Kitui, Kisii, Garissa, Busia, and Nyamira comprised of the highest spenders on the wage bill.

They stated that Sh14.2 billion is the Kitui budget for 2023-24. This includes Sh5.39 billion (38 Percent) for wages, and Sh3.8 billion (24 percent) for operations and maintenance. Also, a further Sh5.3 billion (38 percent) for development.

“So far, the county government of Kitui has spent Sh4 billion on payment of staff salaries and emoluments against the FY2023-2024 approved budget of Sh14.2 billion. This accounts for 28 percent of the total budget as opposed to the 75 percent reported by the Controller of Budget,” the spokespersons for the county government stated.

They argued that the county expenditure breakdown they provided accurately reflected Kitui’s payroll.

Furthermore, the two leaders defended the three-day consultation conference between the Kitui executive and county assembly. The consultative meeting culminated on Wednesday in Mutomo. They downplayed claims by critics that it was a venue for misusing county finances.

“The consultative forums between the county executive and county assembly are great indicators that a county is stable. This paves way for tangible development for county residents,” Governor Malombe remarked.

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