Counties Financial Crisis

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Delay on release of cash causing suffering to counties

Counties are about to experience financial crisis that could affect their operations after the contract of the acting Controller of Budget Stephen Masha whose main task is to approve release of cash from the government’s main account ended before discharging funds to the devolved units.

Mr. Masha was appointed on August 27th by President Uhuru Kenyatta following the exit of Agnes Odhiambo whose term came to an end. The appointment took effect immediately for a period of 90 days, which expired on November 25.

On Sunday, Council of Governors chairman Wycliffe Oparanya said counties are struggling with cash flow problems that have affected services and stalled projects.

The Constitution requires the National Treasury to disburse the counties’ share of revenue by the 15th day of every month.

Total equitable share allocation to the counties in the year starting July is Sh316.5 billion.

Murang’a County Governor Mwangi Wa Iria said the county was affected by failure by the government to release the monies.

Meru deputy governor and the Finance Executive Titus Ntuchiu, said they had not paid salaries due to the delay. Other counties that confirmed being in the same mess include Kirinyaga, Mombasa, Kilifi, Samburu, Nandi, Elgeyo Marakwet and West Pokot.

Margaret Nyakango, a director at the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS), was nominated to be the new Controller of Budget.

She appeared before National Assembly’s Committee on National Planning last Thursday for vetting.

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Timothy Omondi