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Paying contractors now is not possible, Korane

The  Garissa  governor, Ali  Korane  has said that paying contractors with outstanding bills by the end of this month ‘is not possible’.

Speaking  in Narok during the 56th Madaraka Day Celebrations, President Uhuru Kenyatta directed the national treasury and the accounting officers of various ministries in both the National and County governments to pay all pending bills that do not have audit quarries.

Korane  said his administration inherited shs. 4 billion in outstanding bills from the previous regime which is about 50 percent of total budget to the county.

The governor said that despite the huge bills that his administration inherited, there is no infrastructure on the ground to reflect the same.

“It is for this reason that we set up a taskforce to verify these bills. A similar taskforce was set up by the national government but we are yet to receive their report,” Korane said.

Korane  said his administration had to suspend its taskforce after the national government took charge of the exercise.

Speaking  to  the  press in Garissa after attending the Idd Prayers to mark the end of the holy month of Ramadhan, Korane  said  that they  will have to re-activate the  county  taskforce if they have to finish the job and start paying the contractors.

“With  less  than a month left it is practically impossible to verify the projects and start paying the contractors as directed by the president,” said Korane.

He  said  according  to  the initial  reports by the counties taskforce over 80 percent of the projects ‘could not be verified  and  cannot be paid’.

The governor added that even if it will be established that the projects are genuine they have to be budgeted for.

Korane who has time and again lamented the huge debts his administration inherited from the previous regime urged all those with pending bills to be patient and allow his administration to verify the projects awarded.

“Let me assure the contractors who undertook genuine work for the county that they will be paid their monies. It is not in our interest to punish or withhold any body’s cash,” he said.

During  former governor, Nathif Jama’s administration, the contractors clashed on several occasions with his administration over non-payment of pending bills.

By  Jacob  Songok

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