Tana River County MCAs have today unanimously passed a motion compelling the executive to slash the development budget into half to offset pending bills accruing to Sh3 billion.
The motion was moved by Hirimani ward MCA Ismail Kodobo and seconded by Garsen Central MCA Masha Boru.
Kodobo wants the Tana River County Government through the Department of Finance and Economic Planning to prioritize payment of pending bills before embarking on new financial commitments and set aside half of the county development expenditure to pay pending bills.
“Some contractors have loans some sold their livestock and properties to take up the county tenders. Some of the pending bills are dated from 2017.
They are suppliers and contractors who were awarded tenders by the first County Government (2013) and have not been paid a dime up to date,’’ said the Hirimani MCA Ismail Kodobo.
Kodobo further said devolution was expected to herald development but has led some contractors to bankruptcy. He vowed to deal mercilessly with corruption.
He said, “Our duty and fidelity is to the constitution and to our electorates. We are the grassroots leaders we know where the shoes pinch the most, our people have been impoverished instead of being uplifted by devolution. In any revolution, there must be collateral damage to fix things.”
He added that the assembly’s committee of finance would ensure the executive furnish the committee with monthly reports on the progress of payment of pending bills.
Garsen Central MCA Masha Boru said local contractors do not take up tenders floated by the County Government for fear of non-payment.
He said, “Pending bills have been a thorny issue since 2016. A lot of work has been done by contractors but they have not been paid, we have brought this motion so that the contractors are paid their dues.”
The MCAs resolved to summon all accounting officers to account for their inaction of not paying contractors and suppliers before the assembly.
Nominated MCA representing Persons Living with Disabilities (PLWD) said, “Any economy status of a county depends on money flow.”