Various learning institutions in the country are said to owe money to hundreds of suppliers amounting to Sh. 1.2 billion.
The suppliers are worried that merchandise they supplied to schools from January to March this year were not paid before closure of the learning institutions following the government’s directive to control spread of covid-19.
The suppliers, who addressed members of the press in Murang’a on Wednesday claimed that they are facing deep financial challenges for the delayed payment because some items were also procured on loan.
Led by their spokesperson Samuel Muya, the suppliers said that most schools had not paid before the closure of the learning institutions.
Muya observed that some of the items they had supplied included; laboratory chemicals, detergents, furniture, stationery and food stuff among others.
“We sourced for loans to buy and supply goods to schools and financial institutions are on our necks. We want the government to release some funds to schools to allow us to service our loans”, added Muya.
The spokesperson said currently they have not been having business since schools, which are their main clients remain closed due covid-19.
“Our businesses are collapsing since schools are closed. We majored in supplying goods to learning institutions but after closure of schools, we remained counting losses,” argued Muya.
Another supplier, Josephine Wanjiku observed that banks among other financial institutions are threatening to auction their property after they failed to service their loans.
Wanjiku appealed to the government to pay for the goods already supplied so as to help them protect their property from auctioning.
“We urge the government to come to our rescue and give us some funds to cushion us from the financial hardships we are experiencing,” added Wanjiku.
The supplier said that with the government’s directive to have the schools open in January in 2020, things might get tough for them.
“If we have to wait until January for schools to re-open, most of us are likely to suffer and we pray to the government to help us,” she said.
She proposed that if the government cannot channel the money through the schools it should set aside kitty to pay the suppliers.
“The biggest challenge we get with schools is the process that the government uses to release funds leading to the delay in payment,” she added.
By Bernard Munyao