CoG mulls legal action to unlock Sh85b allocation
Douglas Dindi and Anthony Mwangi
County governments may soon return to court to force the National Treasury to release Sh85.6 billion of the equitable shareable revenue it still holds in arrears.
Council of Governors chairman Wycliffe Oparanya yesterday said the council is considering legal redress to compel the Controller of Budget and the Treasury to disburse the cash.
The Kakamega governor said the delayed disbursement has affected operations of county governments.
“As of today a total of Sh85.6 billion which is 27 per cent of the total allocation is yet to be disbursed to the counties.
This is as a result of the bureaucracies in the office of the Controller of Budget which has imposed unnecessary conditions for disbursements of funds to the counties other than what is stipulated in law,” he said.
Oparanya also faulted Senate’s failure to adopt a new formula on revenue sharing between the two levels of governments and Treasury’s reluctance to develop a framework to facilitate a grant from the Danish international development agency (Danida) to fight Covid-19.
He said the council had received complaints from Danida, highlighting frustration the agency are enduring to unlock the cash they have donated as emergency response funds to build counties capacity to address the pandemic
“We therefore urge the Treasury to remove the bottlenecks and give guidelines on how these funds will flow and be absorbed by county governments,” said Oparanya.
On a formula for division of revenue, the governor said Senate was lax to expedite the passage and adoption of third generation formula that provides a new framework for revenue sharing for the next five years.
He claimed delays by Senate had hampered the application of the formula on the 2019/2020 financial year equitable shareable revenue.
Meanwhile, CoG has urged the Ministry of Health to equip counties with coronavirus testing kits, sample collection kits, reagents and PPEs to facilitate screening especially on border counties.
Oparanya said counties have mapped out some 1.4 million households identified worst hit by the pandemic, which will benefit from food aid.