Governors Raise Alarm Over Delayed Funds To Counties Affecting Health Function

By Dorothy Musyoka

The Council of Governors (CoG) is raising the red flag over a fresh plot to return the health function to the National Government through a calculated smear campaign painting the devolved units as inept.

According to COG, the National Government owes counties their equitable share now crossing the Ksh. 100 billion mark, a few days to the end of the 2023/2024 financial year.

“The National Government through the Treasury owes the 47 counties a total of just above Ksh.100 billion up to the end of financial year,” stated Governor Njuki.

The governors’ body now says failure to release funds on time has left the provision of health services on its knees.

As it stands now, counties have not received their equitable share from the National Government for 3 months, including June, yet, the IFMIS system reportedly slows down from mid-June.

According to Governor Njuki, the messaging around the debts owed by counties to KEMSA had the hallmarks of a well thought out and executed scheme, keen on painting counties in bad blood.

“If the National Government stuck to the law and gave us our resources on the 15th of every month, no county would be having a debt of KEMSA,” said Njuki.

According to CoG health committee chairperson and Tharaka Nithi governor Muthomi Njuki questioned the motive behind the prolonged delay, yet the county governments have over-relied on overdrafts.

“KEMSA allows counties to have debts up to 90 days, that is three months,” noted Governor Njuki

Governor Njuki noted that counties would not hesitate to clear debts owed to Kenya Medical Supply Authority (KEMSA) immediately after they receive their share of revenue, but also reminding the National Government to settle the Kshs.2 billion pledge to KEMSA to capacitate the medical agency.

“Let the national government also give the 2 billion so that it will be able to meet the order deferens of 70% to ensure that counties have everything that they order from KEMSA,” added CoG Health Chair.

KEMSA says counties owe them about Kshs.3 billion in arrears.