County governments have threatened to shut down operations by June 24 should Treasury fail to disburse Sh102.6 billion.
Council of Governors (CoG) chair Martin Wambora faulted National Treasury for failing to disburse the said monies yet it is two weeks to the end of the financial year.
The Embu governor broke down the money as follows; Sh3.5 billion owed to Nairobi County Government as arrears for the financial year 2019/2020; Sh2.6 billion owed to Nairobi County Government for January and another Sh1.4 billion for February.
Some Sh14.4 billion is owed to 25 County Governments for March while Sh28.5 billion is owed to all the 47 County Governments for the month of April, another Sh25.3 billion for May, and Sh26.9 billion for June.
As a result, Wambora noted that the county governments are unable to meet their obligations including payment of salaries, payments of suppliers’ and delayed Covid-19 response.
“The continued delay in disbursement is eroding gains made in devolved governance and affecting the economic growth in the counties. Treasury has not only failed to comply with the constitution but even with its own document- the Cash Disbursement Schedule, 2020,” said Wambora.
“This has seen counties stigmatized for failing to offer critical services especially now in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, for what is beyond them. While Kenyans continue to demand services from the County Governments, operations at the National Government continue uninterrupted owing to timely financing from the National Treasury, while those operations in the Counties are slowly grinding to a halt. This should not be tolerated by those who support the success of devolution in Kenya.”
The CoG chair stated that the devolved units will not clear pending bills as instructed by Treasury CS Ukur Yattani on Thursday as he read this year’s budget.
“We appeal to the Senate, the custodian of devolution, to support counties in this call for timely disbursement as the law provides for efficient service delivery. Operations across counties are currently paralyzed,” he stated.
“Today is the 14th June 2021, 16 days remaining to the closure of this Financial Year. In this regard, The National Treasury SHOULD release these funds by 18th June 2021.”
“This will offer Counties the remaining 8 working days to satisfy the stringent requirements by the Controller of Budget in accessing and spending the funds. Unfortunately, if the National Treasury fails to release the required funds, counties will not be able to offer basic service thereby forcing suspension of services or a total shut down by 24the June 2021.”