The government now has about 504 billion shillings in terms of pending bills. This is cash owed to supplies by ministries, county governments, and government parastatals. County governments and universities carry the lion’s share.
Given that most governors have either been voted out or finished their two terms, new county governments are likely to face the challenge of paying the pending bills. Some will have difficulty verifying the same meaning businesses and individuals will continue to suffer.
As of December 2021, Baringo County owed suppliers 3.8 million shillings, Bomet 204.71 million shillings, and Bungoma 629.12 million shillings. Busia County owed suppliers 692.12 million shillings while Elgeyo Marakwet owed 13.71 million shillings.
Embu, Garissa, Homa Bay, and Isiolo counties owed 1.369 billion shillings, 900, 20.96, and 600 million shillings respectively while Kajiado, Kakamega, and Kericho owed 1.16 billion shillings, 588.7, and 146.87 million shillings respectively.
Kilifi County owed suppliers 1.46 billion shillings while Kirinyaga was supposed to pay 391.98 million shillings. Kisii owed 337.34 million shillings while Kisumu County had 1.79 billion shillings in pending bills. Kitui stood at 739.6 million shillings.
Outgoing Treasury CS Ukur Yattani had ordered all government entities to clear all the pending bills before the end of the financial year. Either some parastatals missed the memo or Ukur’s ministry did not release any funds to them for that purpose.
It is not clear which side of the parties will take the government and whether they will give pending bills a priority. The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) announced William Ruto as the president-elect but Raila Odinga moved to the Supreme Court to overturn the announcement.
As the big boys battle it out in court, on the ground, those who supplied to the government have been left helpless, not knowing when they will be paid or if they will be paid at all. Some have had their property auctioned by banks because they took loans to supply to the government.