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Siaya county vehicles grounded as Treasury fails to release funds

NYANZA
By Olivia Odhiambo | June 15th 2019

Siaya county top officials have been forced to use personal cars and Public Service Vehicles (PSV) to run county errands as late disbursement of funds to counties from the National Treasury begins to bite.

The county’s transport sector has been hard-hit with most vehicles remaining parked at the departmental offices due to lack of fuel.

Crucial services have been hit as the county say it is unable to fuel its ambulances due lack of fund.

Top county officials including Deputy Governor James Okumbe, Executive members (CECs), chief officers and directors have turned to personal cars and Public Service Vehicles (PSV) as they wait for the funds to come

Speaking to Standard Digital, County Transport Officer George Obare said most county vehicles were not operating due to mechanical breakdown and lack of fuel.

"Over 75 per cent of our vehicles are not operating due to lack of fuel while others have their insurance cover expired. Some vehicles are due for service but we do not have funds, “said Obare.

The situation has been made worse drivers who reportedly collude with fueling stations to con the county money meant for fuel.

“Most drivers cut deals with filling station workers by reducing the budgeted fuel by over 20 litres before sharing the loot,” an unnamed county driver told Standard Digital.

Some drivers and county officials have turned county vehicles into their own and are using them on personal errands eating into the county fuel budget.

"This is the major reason why we have fuel issues. Most CECs and chief officers send drivers to private errands using county vehicles to places as far as Nairobi. At night you meet those county vehicles carrying building materials, especially the double cabins," he said.

Also affected are photocopy and printing services after electricity were disconnected over unpaid electricity bills.

Standard Digital also established that some sub-county offices were having challenges of lighting.

Governance chief officer Joseph Omondi confirmed that Ugunja and Bondo sub-county offices had their electricity disconnected because of bills worth Sh18,000 and Sh10,000 respectively. 

"We have received complaints from the sub-county and the payment process is being worked on. We will have the lights back to those offices by the end of today,” said Omondi.

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