NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 21 – The Council of Governors Chairperson Wycliffe Oparanya has dismissed claims county chiefs are insincere in the ongoing discourse on payment of pending bills, especially those incurred by their predecessors.
Oparanya who spoke during the unveiling of Kakamega Charter and swearing in of members of the Municipality and Kakamega County Dairy Development Corporation boards Friday said county governments had adhered to guidelines to clear verified pending bills.
He said there was need to expedite the verification of pending bills to ensure small and medium businesses owing government agencies are paid their dues.
“The auditing has to be carried out first to establish eligible and genuine bills and illegible pending bills. Majority of the bills are not eligible to process payments due to disputes or lack of proper documentation that can aid in making payments,” said Oparanya.
Oparanya want national government administrators against micro-managing counties.
He claimed the central government accounted for the huge proportion of pending bills, compared to counties.
Oparanya’s remarks came just a day after the Cabinet resolved to establish an inter-agency team to verify historical pending bills totaling Sh40 billion.
The resolution was made Thursday afternoon during a Cabinet meeting chaired by President Uhuru Kenyatta at State House, Nairobi.
The inter-agency is required to submit a report to cabinet within a month, State House said.
The Cabinet also reiterated the need by government agencies to settle audited pending bills verified by the Office of the Auditor General.
The government had earlier vowed to use lawful means to compel County Governors to pay pending bills.
Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiangi who is also the Chairperson of National Development Implementation and Communication Cabinet Committee Wednesday accused county bosses of playing politics as far as paying their pending bills is concerned.
“Some small excuses are being given by some governors for not paying their bills. We are saying they must pay their bills. We have made a strong recommendation to the full cabinet that we will use all possible lawful means to ensure governors pay their bills,” Matiangi vowed.
“It is not fair to treat our people in the manner they are being treated in the counties.”