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Council of Governors says Treasury yet to release Sh82b

NATIONAL
By Benard Sanga | May 20th 2021
Council of Governors Chairman Martin Wambora [Boniface Okendo, Standard]

The National Treasury is yet to disburse Sh82 billion balance of the equitable share of revenue to the counties, barely a month to the end of this financial year.

This has derailed the county governments’ response to the Covid-19 pandemic, drought and floods ravaging parts of the country, said the chair of Council of Governors (CoG) Martin Wambora.

“The National Treasury has so far disbursed a total of Sh8.8 billion and outstanding amount owed to the counties is Sh82 billion,” said Wambora who is also the Governor of Embu County, said Governor Hassan Joho’s office in Mombasa.

The arrears include the Sh3.9 billion is owed to Nairobi City County for February and Sh25 billion owed to all the 47 counties for March.

All the 47 counties are also owed Sh28 billion for April and Sh25 billion for May. Wambora asked the National Treasury to fast-track the release of the funds.

Wambora said parts of the country have been hit by floods and the county government lacks funds respond adequately.

Heavy rains have been witnessed in Nairobi, Machakos, Kajiado, Siaya, Kiambu, Kisumu, Busia, Migori and Tana River displacing hundreds of residents.

Gross violations

“In informal settlements such as Kibra, people have been rendered homeless and they are vulnerable to disease outbreaks owing to poor sanitation,” he said.

On Covid-19, the CoG chair said 933,826 doses have been administered across the 47 counties with 162,475 health workers already vaccinated.

“We note that the demand for the Covid-19 vaccine has increased over the week with more uptake by health workers and individuals above the age of 58.

At the same time, the CoG criticised the Senate for the manner it handled the impeachment of the Wajir Governor Mohamed Abdi.

Wambora said the Senate violated the court orders that barred both Wajir County Assembly and the Senate from debating the impeachment motion.

He said the Senate committee ‘deliberately failed’ to consider the governor’s evidence on health as captured by the National Survey Report on Health published in May 2019.

The CoG chair also criticised the manner the Wajir deputy governor assumed office saying the process did not follow the provisions of Assumption of Office of the Governor Act.

“Senate has failed to have set standards of what amounts to gross violations of the Constitution. In the Kirinyaga case, the Senate acquitted the governor who was charged with similar violation,” said Wambora.

Meanwhile, the CoG also said most county governments were facing challenges such lack of appropriate masks for learners in the Early Child Development and Education (ECDE). He said there were no enough masks for teachers and support staff, and inadequate handwashing stations in ECDE and vocational training colleges. 

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