Probe former staff over missing files, Natembeya told

Trans-Nzoia County George Natembeya. [Kipsang Joseph, Standard]

Former Chief Officers in the county government are on the spot over alleged missing files that have hindered payment of pending bills.

The County Government of Trans Nzoia Workers Union Chairman Samuel Kiboi Saturday fired a salvo challenging governor George Natembeya to probe the immediate former COs over alleged financial improprieties.

This comes even as the governor appointed a seven-member task force to investigate the Sh1.89 billion debt owed by the county to contractors for various goods and services provided during the reign of the past regime.

Of this amount, Sh1.38 billion was in development expenditure bills while Sh512.19 million was accrued in recurrent expenditure bills in the last term of former governor Patrick Khaemba's rule.

According to Kiboi, a number of the former COs cannot account for crucial files such as invoices and other proof of work done by the contractors and hence making it hard to pay the suppliers their dues.

"I want to call on governor Natembeya to punish the Chief Officers who have lost contractors' files on the pending bills, let them carry their own cross for they have made people suffer after working for the county government," he said.

Kiboi also challenged the newly appointed COs to leave clean records at the end of their tenures by ensuring that they deliver efficient and effective service to the public to guarantee better livelihoods for the county residents.

A recent report by the office of the Auditor General Dr Margaret Nyakang'o indicated that about 30 counties had not put in efforts to pay up pending bills in the financial year 2021/2022, Trans Nzoia being among them.

The report further shows county governments have a total of Sh161.36b pending bills as of September 30, 2022.