Kenyan Governors threaten to shut down counties over lack of finances.

By Samuel Ouma

Governor Wambora.

Operations across Kenya’s 47 counties would come to a halt on June 24 should the country’s Treasury fail to disburse the billions owed to devolved units latest by Friday.

The county governments, through the division of Revenue Act 2020, were allocated ksh316 billion  ($3.16 billion), but the Treasury had released ksh214 billion ($2.14 billion), leaving a balance of ksh102 billion ($1.02 billion).

The Chairman of Council of Governors (CoG) has accused the Treasury of violating the law by failing to comply with its cash disbursement schedule.

County Governments Cash Disbursement Schedule for the Financial Year 2020/21 generated by Treasury and approved by Senate states that resources should be disbursed to counties on the 15th day of every month.

“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 Governor Wambora.

With only two weeks remaining to the end of the 2020/2021 financial year, CoG wants the funds to be released by June 18 to ensure smooth operations at the counties.

The Governors are also racing against time to meet the Controller of Budget’s requirements to clear all pending bills amounting to ksh11.5 billion ($115 million) by June 30.

Mr. Wambora decried over the usual delay of county funds, unlike the national government’s.

“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,” he said.

According to the governor, financing of the counties by the Treasury is not a favour but a constitutional obligation.

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