14 November 2017

Kenya: Cash Crisis Continues to Hurt County Operations

The National Treasury's delay in disbursing funds to counties continues to hurt operations in a number of devolved units in parts of the country.

Officials from Homa Bay, Vihiga, Kakamega and Kisii counties yesterday protested over the delay, describing it as a ploy to "sabotage devolution".

Homa Bay Finance executive Nicholas Koriko said: "We are having difficulties in paying county workers, and clearing outstanding bills."

He urged the Treasury to give out the cash on time to avert such a crisis.


In Vihiga, the chief of staff, Noah Okaya, said the regional government only received Sh300 million last month for recurrent expenditure and payment of salaries.

He added: "We were promised another Sh308 million, which is yet to reflect in our account."

Kakamega County has been relying on allocations for recurrent expenditure from the Treasury to pay salaries.

Treasury county executive Geoffrey Omulayi said the national government has been releasing some funds to the devolved unit, which came in handy in paying salaries. "We have no problem as far as payment of salaries to our workers is concerned," he said.

In Kisii, Finance executive John Momanyi said they had paid salaries up to last month, making the regional government one of the few with no problems with workers regarding salaries.

"We had saved some money and it helped us pay them. We are now looking forward to the disbursement from the National Treasury," said Mr Momanyi.

He said they are working on how they will pay nurses as directed by the Council of Governors.


In North Rift, several counties are grappling with huge debts as the cash crisis bites.

In Nandi County, Governor Stephen Sang said a team had been set up to ascertain the sum of debts inherited from the previous regime in a bid to pay genuine creditors.

In Uasin Gishu, the county government is struggling to settle huge debts.

Millions of shilling are owed to contractors for roads under repair, and suppliers. The county also has to service loans, including the one for Sh378,966,700 it took from the Kenya Commercial Bank.

Reported by Benson Amadala, Barrack Oduor, Derrick Luvega, Magati Obebo, Philip Bwayo and Barnabas Bii


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