Mombasa, Tana River among counties to be blacklisted over debts

Mombasa Governor Ali Hassan Joho. Mombasa and Tana River are among 15 counties set to be blacklisted over failure to clear suppliers debts COURTESY

Mombasa and Tana River are among counties set to be blacklisted from receiving treasury cash allocations if they do not pay debts owed to suppliers by 1st December.

According to a letter written by Treasury CS Ukur Yattani, Mombasa owes suppliers sh 4.07 billion while Tana River County owes sh 1.09 billion.

Other counties are: Machakos sh 1.1 billion,Narok sh 1.8 billion,Vihiga 1.8 billion, Nairobi 21 billion,Isiolo 1.09 billion, Tharaka Nithi 921 million,Garissa 1.57 billion,Baringo 35 million,Nandi 1.12 billion,Bomet 893 million,Kiambu 1.56 billion.

“I hereby stop the transfer of the equitable share of national revenue for the financial year 2019/2020 because of failure by the government to pay pending bills” reads part of the letter.

Yattani termed the failure by counties to pay monies owed to suppliers as a breach of the public finance management act which would have adverse effects on SMEs and business owned by vulnerable populations such as women and the disabled.

The push to have government institutions pay up monies owed started after president Uhuru Kenyatta ordered ministries and counties to clear debts owed to suppliers within 30 days.

Kenyatta who was speaking during the Madaraka day celebrations said that the delayed payments were having negative effects the economy.

“Going forward, and in line with our policy to promote the local industry and enterprise, “Buy Kenya Build Kenya”, I direct that all payments for supplies made to National and County Governments be processed and made promptly and on a priority basis,” he said.

Following the directive only: Elgeyo Marakwet, Homabay, Kajiado, Kericho, Kilifi, Kwale, Laikipia, Makueni, Nyamira, Nyandarua, Nyeri and Uasin Gishu counties complied while the other 20 counties had shown effort to clear their debts as at 17th November.

Further, the treasury  said that it would not be disbursing any conditional grants to the counties that had failed to comply.