Governors decry delay of Sh52 billion by Treasury

Council of Governors during a previous press briefing on delayed disbursement of funds meant for county governments. [Collins Kweyu, Standard]

The Council of Governors (CoG) is piling pressure on the national government to expedite the release of Sh52 billion owed to counties for November and December 2023.

Through its Finance, Planning and Economy Committee Chairperson  Fernandes Barasa, CoG said the delays are grossly affecting operations.

“As the Chair of Finance at COG, I appeal to the National Treasury to release monies owed to counties. According to the Public Finance Management (PFM) Act, we should be receiving the funds by the 15th of every month,” said Barasa.

He noted that the persistent delay in disbursement of funds has slowed development while most counties are struggling to pay workers.

“There is no need for us to keep delaying paying our staff, our doctors, buying drugs, and equipping ECD centres because of Treasury. Please release the funds so we can facilitate development at the grassroots level,” he said when he commissioned projects in the six wards of Lurambi Sub-County.

"The delay has caused most of our counties to fall behind in development. We call upon Treasury Cabinet Secretary Njuguna Ndungu to move with speed and ensure counties receive their equitable share on time.”

Several counties are struggling to keep their operations running.

In Homa Bay, health workers have issued a 14-day strike notice over unpaid salaries.

Similarly, in Meru, doctors have threatened to resume their strike within five days if their demands are not met.

This week, the County Government of Embu ceded to some of the demands by doctors in a deal that has seen them call off a strike for five days to allow further consultations.

The consultative meeting also resolved to form a bipartisan committee that will deliberate on all the grievances that could not be agreed upon immediately.

The doctors are represented by the Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union.

And yesterday, Barasa, who is also the Kakamega governor, described the situation in counties as concerning

Barasa commissioned the construction of 60km roads in Butsotso South- Eshianda COG - Omuyinda stream - Eshurumba Road,  Butsotso Central ward got International Sch (Emurumba Friends Church) - Lunyu stream - Munzeyiuwe junction road.

In Butsotso East ward, there is ACK Holy Trinity Shikoti Road while Shieywe ward has Sichirayi P.A.G - Mulunyu - Emulele  - Mulunyu Junction - Ebwambwa Road. 

Mahiakalo ward will have Mahiakalo Pri. Junction - Show ground - Nyayo Tea Zone - Shikulu junction upgraded to bitumen standards and Shirere Ward had Amalemba COG - Shivakala Primary School Road.

MPs also decried failure by the government to release Constituency Development Fund (CDF) cash.

Lurambi MP Titus Khamala said they had not received a single coin for CDF since July 1, last year.

“We are Kenyans, we pay taxes and we are not beggars. We cannot beg Treasury to release what belongs to us,” Khamala said.

Lugari MP Nabii Nabwera termed the disbursement of Sh6 billion to NG-CDF as a drop in the ocean.

Sabatia MP Clement Sloya urged the National Treasury to release money on time moving forward to prevent vulnerable students from dropping out of school due to lack of bursaries.