Murang’a county government has started to verify and authenticate pending bills, accrued in the last two financial years.
The exercise is being run by a task force, which was formed after the county administration was given a nod to proceed with the auditing of the bills by the office of the Auditor General.
The county government through a notice invited suppliers with pending bills relating to the financial year 2020/2021 and 2021/2022 to appear for preliminary meetings scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday.
The pending bills, which were presented by the Assumption of Office Committee amounted to Sh1.5 billion, but Governor Irungu Kang’ata said the assessment they did after taking over office established that the county owed more than Sh2.7 billion.
Speaking as he inspected the verification exercise Wednesday, Kang’ata assured the suppliers that genuine bills will be paid.
He asked them to present the requirement documents cautioning them against engaging in corruption or forging documents.
“In this exercise to verify the bills, genuine documents are needed and we will extend the exercise up to Monday so we give every supplier time to present the required papers,” he added.
Kang’ata further said the Auditor General had done verification of pending bills up to financial year 2019/2020.
“Here we are just doing authentication of bills accrued from the financial year 2020/2021. The bills for years before this, were verified by the office of auditor general. Those verified will be paid,” he promised.
He further said suppliers who will not be satisfied by the outcome of the verification can appeal to the relevant government agencies.
The verification exercise brings together professionals from law, procurement, accounts fields among others.
Kang’ata added they have also involved the office of Ethics and Anti-corruption commission (EACC) so as to curb forgery and corruption.
“EACC is involved and will ensure the exercise is corruption-free. We want to ensure people who supplied or worked for the county government get their money,” he observed.
Some of the suppliers decried the agony they have faced after they accrued loans from banks among other financial institutions to supply goods or do other works to the county government.
Fresiah Muthoni, who is visually impaired said she supplied computers to the county government last year but she was not paid even after she was assured the payment will be done within a period of three months.
“I delivered computers to the county government in June 2021 and up to now I have not been paid. I secured a loan from Sacco and it has really affected me since the delay has pushed me to losses,” she added.
The chairman of the taskforce John Njoroge said it will take about a month to conclude the verification exercise.
“After we complete the verification exercise, we will hand over our report to the executive. We want to assure the suppliers the exercise will be fair,” he added.
By Bernard Munyao