Revenue standoff: CoG orders all counties to send staff on leave as shutdown looms

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BY NAMULONGO PETER,NAIROBI,16TH SEPT,2020-The situation in the 47 counties across the country seems to be headed to the wrong direction with service delivery hanging in balance after  Council of Governors (CoG)  ordered all county governments to send their staff on leave for two weeks and suspend non-essential services ahead of Thursday’s planned shutdown as  the revenue allocation stalemate persists.

This comes after the Senate for the 10th time on Tuesday failed to reach an agreement  on the best formula to share revenue among counties.

CoG Chairman and Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya, in a statement released on Wednesday, expressed displeasure at the fact there it is still “not clear when this impasse will be resolved.”

Oparanya hence stated that county health facilities will henceforth not permit any new inpatient admissions, further that they will only provide minimal outpatient services.

“…all County Governments are advised to issue necessary notices as follows: County Health Facilities will not permit any new inpatient admissions. They will only provide minimal outpatient services,” he stated.

“All non-essential services are hereby suspended and County employees are advised to proceed on leave for two (2) weeks. In the meantime, the Council will continue to push for the speedy release of County funds.

Oparanya however thanked President Uhuru Kenyatta for committing to increase county allocation by Ksh.50 billion in the next financial year.

The CoG early this month threatened to sponsor a petition to dissolve the Senate over failure to pass the third basis revenue sharing formula, further warning that all 47 counties will shut down on September 17, 2020 if an agreement is not reached.

Oparanya, in a  statement released on September 3, 2020, said the Senate has failed counties hence has no role being in existence.

Governor Oparanya said failure by the Senate to agree on a formula has put counties in a precarious position with many failing to even pay salaries for health workers.

“…we hereby forewarn the Senate that a petition for its dissolution can be initiated by any member of the public through the High Court as provided for under Article 258 of the Constitution,” he said.

“It is unfortunate that county governments are unable to even pay the salaries and allowances of our health workers who remain in the frontline to save lives of Kenyans.”

Oparanya further added: “In this regard, if the situation persists, effective Thursday September 17, 2020 counties will have no choice but to shut down. Therefore, all county government services will not be available in the counties. Consequently, we shall release all county employees to proceed on leave until an amicable solution on the issue is reached.”

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