East African Community has moved to clear salary and allowances owed to its employees and leaders through a supplementary budget that was presented on June 28 for approval.
According to the supplementary budget, EAC organs and institutions including the Secretariat, members of parliament and the Lake Victoria Basin are owed more than $2.2 million in arrears.
A supplementary budget that was presented on June 28 by the chairperson of the EAC Council of Ministers Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary Adan Mohamed to plug the deficit reveals the East African Legislative Assembly members are still owed $252,980 in sitting allowances. The amount is part of sitting allowances arrears for the period between the months of March to June 2020.
The supplementary budget was not passed last year following a dispute between EALA and the Secretariat over sitting allowance arrears totalling $2.5 million.
“The Council is seeking approval by the Assembly of a Supplementary Budget of $2.2 million to accommodate activities implemented by the Assembly, EAC Secretariat, Lake Victoria Basin Commission, Lake Victoria Fisheries Organisation, East African Science and Technology Commission and East African Health Research Commission,” said Mr Mohamed.
“These are: Offsetting sitting allowances owed to members who participated in vote on account sessions as registered by the Office of the Clerk for $252,980; construction of the LVBC Headquarters $679,512.”
To supplement its budget, now standing at $91.7 million, the EAC will largely borrow from donors to manage the deficit this financial year.
Activities whose funding is pending are a study on Covid-19 prevalence in patients with severe acute respiratory infection in EAC region between November 2019 and February 29, 2020, funded by GIZ at $112,915, strengthening the EAC Technical Working Group on harmonised pesticide regulatory system funding by Agra at $36,400, and promotion of the rice sector to be funded by Kilimo Trust at $205,050.
In the 2021/22 budget, read by Ken Obura, Chief Administrative Secretary, Kenya’s Ministry of EAC and Regional Affairs, the EAC partner states are expected to contribute $54.1 million.
“The Council submits a $91.7 million budget for this financial year. Of this, $54.1 million will be contributed equally by partners or raised as other internal revenues and $37.6 million is sourced from the development partners,” said Mr Obura when he presented the budget.
However, the budget has a deficit of over $13 million, based on the EALA budget proposals for $104 million for the 2020/21 year.
“I won’t state how much is our budget deficit as I am yet to study what was presented and how the amounts for each vote was arrived at,” said Dr Peter Mathuki, EAC Secretary General.
During presentation of the 2020/21 budget, EALA was disappointed with the Council of Ministers for declining to increase the contribution of each partner state towards the 2020/2021 budget from $8.2 million to $ 8.9 million as proposed by the EAC Secretariat, representing an eight percent increase.