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