Counties are in the red, Oparanya tells state - Beaking Kenya News

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Monday, 5 October 2020

Counties are in the red, Oparanya tells state

 

County governments could shut down again unless the National Treasury releases funds immediately, Council of Governors chairman Wycliffe Oparanya has said.

He said counties are in the red because the Treasury has failed to disburse funds in the first quarter of the current financial year.

Oparanya urged President Uhuru Kenyatta to direct the Treasury to release funds to counties by Monday.

"Counties need intervention by the President. We're hoping it will be on his agenda when he returns from a working trip to France," he said on Saturday.

The governor was speaking during the burial ceremony of Mzee Stephen Shiraku in Matioli village, Lurambi subcounty.

CoG had last month announced a shutdown of all the 47 county governments, citing delays by the Senate to pass the revenue sharing formula.

As soon as the governors made real their threat to shut down operations in counties, senators unanimously voted to approve the third basis for sharing revenue among devolved units.

But Oparanya, who is the Kakamega governor, has said they would be forced to shut down counties once again if the Treasury failed to release the money.

Oparanya said counties have been surviving on loans from commercial banks after the Treasury failed to release funds to them.

He said counties that are unable to access credit facilities from commercial banks are facing a serious financial crisis.

The county chief said the erratic disbursement of funds to counties had crippled development plans since devolved units had done nothing in the first quarter of the current financial year.

The CoG chairman said governors were reading sinister motives in the delay in releasing the funds.

He said the current situation in counties had been precipitated by delays by the Senate to pass the revenue sharing formula.

"It doesn't make sense that the Senate took three years to pass this formula, causing the challenges we are facing," he said.  

Oparanya said that there was a need to devolve more resources to improve service delivery to the people.

He was accompanied by MP Titus Khamala, Luanda's Chris Omulele and Kakamega Woman Representative Elsie Muhanda.

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