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Yatani to release Sh 40b to Counties after summon by the Senate

Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani has promised to release Sh 40billion to Counties by Friday following a four-month delay and after the Senate summoned him on Tuesday.

The chair of the Senate Finance Committee and Kirinyaga Senator Charles Kibiru said Yatani had promised to release the funds by this Friday and will cover the months of March and April.

He said his committee will push Yatani to release the remaining funds that cover the months of May and June.

“Today I chaired the meeting where he put Treasury CS to task to explain the delay in disbursement of funds. He promised to release about Sh 40 billion by this Friday. This will cover the balance of March and total for April. We will push for May and June too,’’ said Kibiru after the 8:00am meeting.

Last week, the Senate through Speaker Kenneth Lusaka summoned Yatani to attend today’s meeting to explain the incessant delays in disbursement of funds to County governments.

In the letter dated 7th July 2021, Speaker o Lusaka ordered Yatani to appear in person for the meeting failure to which action will be taken on the CS.

Lusaka issued the summons following complaints by the Senate Finance Committee chaired by Kirinyaga Senator Charles Kibiru that Yatani had failed to honour their meetings to give answers over delay in release of funds.

Kibiru was seeking answers as to why Treasury is delaying disbursement of funds to counties saying the failure is impacting the devolved units badly, revealing that a staggering 27 counties had not received money since March this year, crippling their functions.

He said they had called Yatani on two occasions but he had failed to turn up yet the issues he is to address are very critical because of the impact they have on the running of county governments.

Lusaka threatened to sanction Yatani under the Parliamentary Powers and Privileges Act.
“Kindly note that should you fail to attend the meeting, the Senate will be constrained to exercise its powers under section 18 of the Parliamentary Powers and Privileges Act, 2017,” said Lusaka.

Kibiru said his committee is concerned that the delays in the disbursement of funds to the counties continue to undermine the principles and objects of devolution as espoused in the constitution.

He said the CS is under the constitutional duty to honour any invitation to appear before a Committee of Parliament to address any matter for which the Cabinet Secretary is responsible.

“This function is intended to facilitate the oversight function of the Houses of Parliament and to ensure the accountability of state officers in the exercise of public duty,” said Kibiru.

Yesterday, Yatani obeyed the summons and promised to release the funds by Friday this week much to relief of the County Governments that were grinding to a halt.

On Monday the chair of the Council of Governor (COG) and Embu governor Martin Wambora said the counties would shut down by June 24 should the Treasury fail to release the money.

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