Bungoma Governor Kenneth Lusaka has rubbished media reports indicating that the County had over spent on travelling at the expense of development.
During an interview with journalists, Lusaka faulted the reports that had been attributed to the Controller of Budget (COB) that named Bungoma County among Counties with high expenditure on local travel.
He said the 600 million shillings mentioned included operational and recurrent expenditure that included; Fuel and repairs for County vehicles ,travel expenses for the County Assembly, travel allowances for public during participation and other expenses.
“The reporting is exaggerated by indicating that the amount was solely for travel expenditure which is completely outrageous and practically impossible even if I had to travel daily throughout the year.“He said
He further faulted the report for alleging that the expenditure was for the period of financial year 2022/23 yet it had also catered for pending bills from financial year 2021/22.
“A large part of the expenditure went to pending bills from the previous regime which we had no option as a government but pay; when we came almost all vehicles were grounded in garages and needed repairs, “asserted Lusaka
Lusaka called out on the Controller of Budget to inform Kenyans how she arrives at her figures to avoid raising unnecessary tension in the Counties.
” For example, when the COB says Bungoma has spent Sh696M on local travel, and fails to tell the public that the said amount also includes the cost of repairing vehicles, fuel, and payment of pending bills from the previous administration among other costs that is misleading,” he reiterated
The Governor further urged the media to critically examine such reports rather than sensationalize them.
“You need to go through critically those reports and ask those who draw them hard questions,” he advised
During the interview the Governor revealed plans to hire 200 more ECDE (Early Childhood Development Education) teachers and promote others.
“We have good plans for our learners right from the foundation, we are building more classrooms as we employ more teachers, I am happy we have streamlined the scholarship program, my next agenda is equipping the vocational centers to give youths skills that can make them self-employable.” Assured County boss
Additionally, Lusaka said Bungoma County is putting up mitigation measures as the country prepares for the onset of El Nino rains.