Mombasa lobby group withdraws petition challenging county’s budget process

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Mombasa, KENYA: The Local Empowerment for Good Governance(LENGGO) on Thursday withdrew a petition it had filed at the Mombasa High Court challenging the budgeting process of Mombasa county government.

LENGGO through its executive director Lucas Fondo, had earlier claimed the budgeting process did not follow the law.

The petitioners through their lawyer said they chose to withdraw the case saying “the matter had been overtaken by events”.

Speaking to the media after the court hearing, Mr. Fondo claimed the county’s budget was passed without first approving the county integrated development plan CIDP and the Annual Development Plan and this is what they were challenging in court.

“The law clearly states that processes have to be taken satisfactorily for you to arrive at a budget but the way things happened in Mombasa county is that they started making the budget without a county integrated development plan CIDP which is the source document of the budget.” Said Mr. Fondo.

The group also termed this as a tool for propagating grand corruption in the county claiming the existence of ghost projects planted in the budget.

Following their withdrawal, the group still remains adamant that they will be back in court on Monday to file a fresh petition.

Their withdrawal came at a cost though because the court slapped the group with a fine.

Nicholas Ongora a human rights activist that works with Manyatta youth Entertainment a group that was enjoined in the petition says this does not deter them from the push to fight for the rights of the people.

However, he insists that they will appeal because this is a matter of public interest to the people of Mombasa County stating that the decision to fine them is just a way to dampen the spirits of locals in asking for their rights, this view being seconded by Mr. Fondo of LENGGO.

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