Counties do need steady cash flow

In Summary

• There was a shortfall of at least Sh30 billion in payments to the counties by the Treasury last year

• Some counties are well managed but some squander revenue on dubious expenditure and unnecessary recruitment

Council of Governors arriving at the Parliament Buildings on April 25, 2022
Council of Governors arriving at the Parliament Buildings on April 25, 2022

On June 29, the last day before the end of the Financial Year, the Treasury still owed Sh400 billion to national and county governments. Of that, over Sh30 billion was owed the counties.

The counties continually complain that they are not being paid what is owed to them. The Treasury retorts that they are not properly accounting for their expenditure and so cannot claim for their next tranches of funds, and are spending too much on salaries.

There is right and wrong on both sides here.

A lot of county expenditure is indeed wasted on dubious expenditure; the recruitment of relatives and clansmates; and unnecessary travel.

But the Constitution stipulates that the counties should get an 'equitable share' of 35 percent of the Budget. They have been allocated less and even that is not paid on time. The counties have a legitimate gripe that it is difficult to plan with erratic cash flow.

We are now entering the next Financial Year. Let the counties be subject to more intense audits but let them also be paid on time. Then perhaps we will see more of the benefits of devolution.

Quote of the day: "The microbes will have the last word.”

Louis Pasteur 
He successfully tested his rabies
vaccine for the first time on July 6, 1885

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