Governor Mutai outlines growth plans as he pays over Sh500m bills

Kericho Governor Erick Mutai flanked by representatives of James Finlay and Browns Investments PLC addressed the media on May 5, 2023, after a two-hour closed-door meeting. [Julius Chepkwony, Standard]

Kericho County has cleared pending bills worth over Sh500 million giving small businesses much-needed working capital that was locked up to local contractors and suppliers.

Governor Erick Mutai said he inherited pending bills worth Sh600 million, and within one year he has managed to settle over Sh515 million after an internal pending bills task force verified them.

“We established an internal pending bills task force which approved payments totaling over Sh515m. We have paid all genuine pending bills as approved by the committee,” he said during his State of the County address at the Kericho County Assembly.

Dr Mutai reiterated his administration’s dedication to fulfilling promises outlined in the County Integrated Development Programme (CIDP), promising to work every day to ensure effective services are delivered.

“I wish to reaffirm that the state of our county is strong. We have kept our promise and utilised county resources for the greater good. I remain bullish about our state of the county, working every day to ensure services are delivered,” he said during his 45-minute address.

Combat unemployment

In the education sector, the governor said his administration had addressed the issue of Early Childhood Development Education (ECDE) teachers by hiring 1,136 teachers on permanent and pensionable terms.

“There are ongoing efforts to employ 65 more to meet current shortfalls,” said the governor.

In a bid to combat youth unemployment, Mutai said his administration initiated a crucial intervention, offering 300 internships to skilled youth across the county.

“Diploma and Degree holders will serve for one year, receiving a monthly stipend and the much-needed hands-on training to launch their careers. We aim to roll out the same number every year,” said Mutai.

He termed the elevation of Kericho County Referral Hospital  as a level V facility as a milestone in the sector.

With 169 dispensaries operational, surpassing MOH guidelines, Mutai proposed the conversion of some of the facilities to health centres for enhanced service delivery.

“We also launched Primary Care Networks and the training of 167 community units is almost reaching the target of 203,” the governor said.

He detailed the water department’s success in increasing access to quality drinking water to rural households through new schemes and rehabilitation efforts.

In agriculture, Mutai said his administration subsidised Artificial Insemination services, distributing over 10,000 doses of semen to farmers.

“Additionally, 30 Agricultural Extension Officers were employed to ensure farmers stay informed about best farming practices,” he said.

In infrastructure development, the governor announced a total expenditure of Sh514,777,680 in the 2022/23 fiscal year.