Broke counties push for release of funds as Senate stalls fund approval

Broke counties push for release of funds as Senate stalls fund approval
Turkana County governor Josphat Nanok addressing journalists at a past event

The Council of Governors has written to the National Government asking for the fast-tracking of disbursement of funds to all the 47 County Governments.

In a letter to National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich, CoG Chairman Josphat Nanok stated that counties are currently grappling with hard times marked by disruption of essential services and non-payment of salaries.

“As at now, most counties are reporting a disruption of essential services and nonpayment of salaries to staff. The Council of Governors requests for the disbursements without any further delay to enable the county governments to deliver the required the services to the Kenyan people,” part of the letter reads.

According to governors’ council, counties have not been able to receive monthly disbursements dating back to the month of July 2017 when the 2017/18 financial year came into effect.

The Public Finance Act, 2012 under section 17(6) mandates the National Treasury to disburse funds to the counties at the beginning of every month, and in any event not later than the fifteenth day from the commencement of the quarter.

However, the Treasury advanced counties Ksh17 billion three weeks ago since the Senate is yet to approve monthly disbursements.

In the 2017/2018 budget, counties were allocated a total of 329.1 billion in 2017/2018 against the Sh288 billion they got in the 2015/2016 financial year.

Health remains one of the most affected sectors under the counties with nurses being on strike for the last five months.

They have been demanding implementation of a collective bargaining agreement they signed with their employer, the County Governments.

It remains unclear when this stalemate will be resolved as both sides have taken hardline positions, with the government maintaining that honouring the said agreement with the nurses is untenable due to cost implications.

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Story By Benjamin Muriuki
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