NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 28 – The National Treasury has refuted claims made by the Council of Governors that it is out to kill devolution following delay in releasing funds meant for the county governments.
The Treasury Principal Secretary Kamau Thugge says the Treasury has so far released 86 percent of the county funds which is equivalent to Sh196.9 billion out of Sh229billion, for the current financial year of 2014/2015.
He says in releasing funds as at June 16, the Treasury gave priority to county governments in order not to disrupt operations at the counties and has no deliberate intention of hurting county activities.
“The National Treasury wishes to assure Kenyans that we are committed to making devolution work and in this regard we have been disbursing funds based on the Disbursement Schedule approved by the Senate,” Thugge said on Sunday.
He said governors should therefore have no excuse not to smoothly run county operations like paying salaries to the staff including health workers.
“Given the current level of disbursement and considering the unspent bank balances at the CBK, county governments should be able to pay salaries. We therefore urge all county governments to always prioritize payment of salaries,” the PS said.
He says some of the counties that are alleged to have encountered difficulties in paying salary bills had significant balances in their accounts at Central Bank, sufficient to pay the bills for the month of May.
According to the Treasury, county governments were collectively holding unspent bank balances amounting to Sh31.3billion as at June 16. Throughout the year unspent bank balances ranged between Sh30billion to Sh40billion.
However on Saturday, governors complained that they had not received monies for May and June as required by the Constitution which is interfering with counties’ cash flow.
READ: Governors claim Treasury sabotaging devolution
The governors said to date, counties have only received money up to April 2015.
They added that despite the Treasury having released monies for May, it was too late since it takes time for them to access the funds.