, NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 9 – Governors have threatened to withdraw free maternity services in counties if the national government does not disburse cash meant for maternity fees at county hospitals.
Council of Governors Chairman Peter Munya says the annual allocation for maternity fees from the national government for the 2015/2016 financial year stood at Sh4.2 billion with the Ministry of Health only disbursing Sh1.2 billion as of December 9, 2015.
Munya said the counties have been compelled to draw from their own resources to cater for the same, thus constraining their resources.
“The free maternity fees allocations by the national government to the counties is not working, counties are not receiving the allocations from the Ministry of Health which has consistently withheld the money as documentation from the National Treasury illustrates that the money has already been disbursed to the ministry subsequent to counties,” explained Munya at a presser at the Council of Governors offices in Westlands, Nairobi.
He added that last financial year the Ministry of Health did not disburse Sh1.1 billion.
“We are demanding that the Ministry of Health disburses this money to the counties immediately otherwise we will be compelled to draw from our own resources,” he added.
Munya also raised concerns over vaccination funds which he says are disbursed to County Directors’ personal accounts by the Ministry of Health pointing out that it is unconstitutional and called upon the Ethics and Anti Corruption Commission (EACC) to investigate the matter.
“Vaccination programmes such as that of polio should be driven by county governments and no money should be put in personal accounts of officials, how do they even verify how the funds have been used?” he queried.
Further, after Wednesday morning deliberations, the governors also resolved to reject the Kenya Development Support Programme that was proposed by the World Bank to provide $200 million credit facility to support devolution.
The programme was meant to strengthen both county and national institutions to ensure efficient services delivery in the counties.
“The main reason for our rejection of this programme is because the project document provides for supervisory role of the ministry of Devolution the through the Principal Secretary on the funds flow to the county governments,” he added.
Following this, the governors have cancelled the already scheduled training for the county officials that was to start December 10, 2015 on the sensitization of the programme pointing out that they will only engage on the programme if its modalities of engagements are revised.
Marking the World Anti Corruption Day, the governors have joined President Uhuru Kenyatta in the fight against corruption.
“We will implement the recommendations of the presidential taskforce report on county responsibilities on licensing, revenue collection and capacity building.