• Nyeri Governor Mutahi Kahiga said the National Treasury has not released Sh1.5 billion to the county.
• The county chief said devolved units cannot be convinced that the national government is broke as it is still running its operations effectively.
Services in Nyeri may grind to a halt if the National Treasury fails to release funds to the county, Governor Mutahi Kahiga has said.
He said the Treasury is withholding Sh1.5 billion for the county.
“As we speak, we had to take drugs worth Sh94 million from Kemsa on credit for our hospitals,” the governor said on Wednesday.
He said the county can no longer afford to fuel vehicles and they are on the verge of being grounded.
The county owes contractors over Sh417 million, he said.
“This money [Sh1.5 billion being withheld by Treasury] is enough to pay all our pending bills and cater for other county expenses,” Kahiga said.
He said the county has been using its own revenue to pay workers’ salaries, adding that counties have been surviving on borrowing to the extent that lenders no longer lend them money.
The county chief said devolved units cannot be convinced that the national government is broke as it is still running its operations effectively.
He spoke when he distributed learning materials consisting of plastic chairs, tables, reading and writing materials, various machines and computers to youth polytechnics and Early Childhood Development Education centres.
The learning materials were worth Sh9.3 million. Of the amount, Sh8 million was for nursery schools equipment.
The event took place outside his offices in Nyeri town.
“Polytechnics will get training materials such as sewing machines and salon and barber equipment,” Kahiga said.
Every ECDE child, he said, will be given exercise books, pencils, an eraser and reading materials.
He said since his government took over, it has built 54 classes, repaired and equipped others and employed about 800 ECDE teachers.
“About 100 water tanks will also be distributed to the centres to fight the Covid-19 pandemic by ensuring regular cleaning of hands and general sanitation," he said.
The items had been bought in the last financial year, but they were kept after schools were shut down following the outbreak of Covid-19.
Leader of the majority James Kanyugo said the chairs will enable learners to observe social distance.
Some 426 learning institutions run by the county government will benefit from the items.
Education executive Margaret Macharia said 21,230 ECDE learners have reported back to school this month.