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Residents to go for a fortnight without county’s key services

Residents of Machakos will have to put up with a skeleton of key services for the next two weeks following a decision by the Council of Governors (CoG) to suspend services in all counties after Senators failed to come up with a revenue sharing formula for the umpteenth time.

Yesterday Machakos County Secretary Grace Munguti through a circular seen by KNA directed that all non-essential services be suspended as from September 17(today) for a fortnight and ordered all county employees to proceed on leave for two weeks or until advised.

During the period, all County Executive Committee Members (CEC) will be required to be conducting working tours, site visits and field engagements with the public in relation to ongoing county government programs.

Munguti nevertheless said delivery of essential services such as revenue collection, health and emergency services, sanitation and solid waste management, county inspectorate and county treasury will continue normally.

“Effective 17th September 2020, all no-essential services are hereby suspended and county employees are advised to proceed on leave for two weeks (2) or until further advised,” read part of the circular dated September 16.

Commenting on the financial crisis, Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua has blamed unnamed powerful forces for the revenue sharing deadlock and allege   the move is a well-crafted strategy to scuttle the gains of devolution and deny services to the common mwananchi.

Terming the failure by the Senate to reach a consensus on the matter as one of the lowest moments since devolution came into place, Dr Mutua said the country now needs leaders with a clear cut mandate to take the country forward but not selfish imposters who have no interest of the people at heart.

He said it was a big shame for Senators to be bickering over revenue sharing formulas at a time when the common person in the village is confronted with a myriad of challenges such as lack of quality health care, water and improved infrastructure.

“What is happening at the Senate is a clear indicator of the ill intentions of a cabal of leaders hell bent on derailing the gains of devolution. This is one of the many reasons why we need a new crop of leaders with a heart for the people come the next general election,” said Dr Mutua.

He pointed out that unless the matter is resolved quickly and money wired to the counties, his government will not be in a position to meet its recurrent financial obligations such as paying of employees’ salaries and fueling vehicles.

Yesterday CoG chair Mr. Wycliffe Oparanya announced a near-total shutdown in all the 47 counties beginning today after senators failed to pass a revenue sharing formula.

In a statement which was sent to newsrooms, Oparanya also said that county health facilities will not permit any new inpatient admissions.

The Kakamega governor also directed all non-essential services be suspended forthwith with all county employees proceeding on a two weeks leave.

Early this week   President Uhuru Kenyatta had tried to help in unlocking the revenue sharing standstill with a promise to inject Sh Sh50 billion in the next financial year to cushion counties that were losing money.

However, the gesture seemed not to have gone well with a section of the legislators leading to the current crisis which has thrown devolved governments into disarray due to lack of funds to run their services.

Any agreement on the matter would unlock the gridlock in the sharing out of some Sh 316.5 billion to the 47 county governments

By Samuel Maina

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