Governors will shut down their county governments next week should the National Treasury fails to disburse Ksh.102.6 billion owed to them.
The county bosses issued the warning on Monday citing a lack of funds to run operations.
Council of Governors (CoG) Chairman Martin Wambora accused Treasury of violating the law and failing to comply with its own cash disbursement schedule.
“It is imperative for Kenyans to understand that financing counties by the Treasury is not a favour but a constitutional obligation. The taxpayer at the counties is also entitled to timely service delivery,” Mr Wambora said.
Adding: “Unfortunately, if the National Treasury fails to release the funds, counties will not be able to offer basic services thereby forcing suspension of services or total shutdown by June 24.”
The Council of Governors (CoG) claims they are unable to meet statutory obligations and fiscal responsibilities including timely payment of staff salaries, remittance of employees’ statutory deductions, payment of suppliers’ eligible pending bills, implementation of development projects, and derailed response in the fight against COVI D-19 pandemic.
“Operations at the national government continue uninterrupted owing to timely financing from Treasury while counties are slowly grinding to a halt. This should not be tolerated by those who support the success of devolution in Kenya,” Wambora stated.
The Embu governor also stated that counties will be unable to clear their pending bills amounting to Ksh.11.5 billion as directed by Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani during his budget speech without getting funds from the government.
“We appeal to the Senate, the custodian of devolution, to support counties in this call for timely disbursement as the law provides for efficient service delivery. Operations across counties are currently paralyzed,” he stated.
“Today is the 14th June 2021, 16 days remaining to the closure of this Financial Year. In this regard, The National Treasury SHOULD release these funds by 18th June 2021.”
Wambora added: “This will offer Counties the remaining 8 working days to satisfy the stringent requirements by the Controller of Budget in accessing and spending the funds. Unfortunately, if the National Treasury fails to release the required funds, counties will not be able to offer basic service thereby forcing suspension of services or a total shut down by 24the June 2021.”