Questions as counties spend over 7B on local and foreign travel despite Covid-19 lockdowns

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The Controller of Budget Margaret Nyakang’o has revealed counties spent Sh7.63 billion in local and foreign travel in the first nine months of the 2020/201 financial year despite existing travel restrictions both locally and abroad, as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

In March last year, the Ministry of Health in conjunction with relevant state agencies imposed a set of guidelines that restricted the movement of persons and promoted virtual meetings as well as working from home for non-critical government services.  As a result, government officers, including those in counties, were limited in the number of activities requiring physical meetings, necessitating travels, such as workshops and seminars.

In a report, Ms. Nyakangó listed the counties of Kajiado (Sh333.14 million), Siaya (Sh332.55 million), Bungoma (Sh313.15 million), Tana River (Sh303.04 million), and Nairobi City at (297.97 million) as the biggest spenders on local travel and subsistence. Other top spenders are Machakos (Sh283.40 million), Meru (Sh264.09 million), Kitui (Sh249.63 million), Kiambu (SH245.10 million), Kisii (Sh213.69 million), and Nyeri (Sh202.23 million).

Counties with high expenditure on foreign travel include Laikipia (Sh43 million), Nairobi (Sh42m), Mombasa (Sh29m), Bomet (Sh21.29m), and Homa Bay (Sh21 million).

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