Governors affiliated to the opposition National Super Alliance (NASA) have accused the government of deliberately delaying the disbursement of funds allocated to the county governments.
The county heads allege that the national government has disbursed funds to counties perceived to be Jubilee dominated, while starving those to be controlled by the opposition.
The governors have threatened to take legal action if the national government does not release the funds in time and without discrimination as required by the law.
The county bosses said they have not received any funds since July, which has derailed some of the key functions of the county. They said the move by the national government is a ploy to kill devolution. It is said that the plan by government to withhold the funds was informed by claims that opposition allied governors were using funds allocated to their counties to fund campaigns of their presidential candidate Raila Odinga.
Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya said he will move to the court to seek clarification on the government's plan to withhold the funds to counties, saying it violates provisions of the constitution.
“I will be moving to court as Kakamega County to seek constitutional interpretation on when the State is supposed to release the funds. We are sitting in the offices doing nothing yet our people are suffering for lack of services. The President and his deputy should be jailed for killing devolution,” Oparanya declared on Saturday.
Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich, however, rubbished the claim, and attributes the delays to problems in the County Allocation of Revenue Act (Cara), which was passed by Parliament in June, and the Cash Disbursements Schedule, adopted by the Senate in late August.
“The two were not properly synchronised, which occasioned the delay. But we shall proceed to disburse once the anomaly is rectified,” he said.
“Any county that has a balance lower than Sh300 million at the CBK has been receiving its share of revenue. We shall continue disbursing that way until the problems in the law and schedule are clarified, then we shall return to the normal situation,” he said.
Devolution Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri also defended the national government, saying it was wrong for the governors to raise alarm at this time.
“It is all frustration around money, but let me tell the grumbling governors that it is not my ministry’s mandate to disburse funds,” he said, while calling for patience from the governors.
“This is the wrong time for the governors to start these blame games. Those who are doing this merely want to politicise the issue and this is the wrong time for such actions. We know some of them are desperately looking for funds to use in campaigning for their presidential candidate,” he added.