, NAIROBI, Kenya Apr 12 – County Governments now say they are willing to pay doctors for the days they were on strike, once the National Government makes the funds available.
Council of Governors Chairman Peter Munya told a news conference that counties do not have extra funds to settle the dues after they used money at the time mitigate needs during the strike period.
“We have no objection whatsoever on the doctors getting their salaries and we are ready to pay them any time the National Government releases this money. But we want to make it extremely clear that counties do not have any extra money to pay for that period they were on strike, because that money was used to cushion patients, to buy medicine for mission hospitals and deal with emergencies that emerged at that time,” Munya stated.
Kenyan doctors were elated by the news that President Uhuru Kenyatta had directed the counties to pay them for the 100 days they were on strike, only for Munya to reject such an arrangement.
The Council of Governors has in the meantime, warned stated that it will be moving to the court to quash the Appropriations Act 2017 after President Kenyatta signed it into law.
Munya said the move meant that counties will be plunged into financial crisis since the earliest they can make their budgets is after the August General Election.
“Assenting to the Appropriation Bill will interfere with legislative timelines and processes as the Senate cannot debate on the County Allocation of Revenue Bill while the Division of Revenue Bill has not yet fully gone through the motions of mediation. The Council opposes the Appropriation Act and will take relevant legal measures to ensure successful mediation for the Division of Revenue Bill,” Munya stated.
The county bosses said they are dismayed that the President assented to the Appropriation Bill while mediation on the Division of Revenue Bill is still ongoing.
“His actions undermine the mediation process which will settle on the allocation of revenue to both levels of government. The Division of Revenue Bill informs the County Allocation of Revenue Act, which distributes the equitable share amongst the forty-seven (47) County Governments. Therefore, the signing of the Appropriation Bill is premature since the allocations for both levels of government are yet to be agreed on,” he said.
Senators resolved to move to court after President Kenyatta ignored their plea not to assent to budget implementing legislation that was passed last Thursday by the National Assembly.
Both Governors and Senators said the move was unprocedural as a joint House Mediation Committee was yet to conclude deliberating on the disputed Division of Revenue Bill.