County Employees Sent Home in Looming Shutdown

  • Kakamega Senator Wycliffe Oparanya (center) with other governors including Makueni's Kivutha Kibwana at a press conference in January 2020.
    Kakamega Senator Wycliffe Oparanya (centre) with other governors including Makueni's Kivutha Kibwana at a press conference in January 2020.
    Daily Nation
  • UPDATE: Council of Governors Chairman Wycliffe Oparanya on Friday, September 18 lifted the counties shutdown and urge the devolved units to resume their functions immediately.

    The announcement came after the Senate unanimously resolved the stalemate on revenue sharing formula yesterday.

    "I also take this opportunity to urge Treasury Cabinet Secretary Hon Yatani to release funds to the counties immediately to cushion the devolved units from financial crisis they are currently facing.

    "I thank President Uhuru Kenyatta and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga for intervening to end the stalemate at the Senate that had starved counties of money," he stated.

    Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya speaking in Bungoma on September 18, 2020.
    Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya speaking in Bungoma on September 18, 2020.
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    Governors will send all non-essential employees in their counties home following failure to resolve the revenue-sharing stalemate by the Senate.

    In a statement, Council of Governors Chairman Wycliffe Oparanya directed all county governments to suspend various services, sending the workers on a two-week leave.

    "County Health Facilities will not permit any new inpatient admissions, they will only provide minimal outpatient services," the statement read in part.

    In August 2020, Oparanya had warned of the looming counties shut down as he urged Parliament to resolve the matter to provide counties with working capital for their operations.  

    Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya speaking at the State of Devolution Address 2020 on July 23, 2020.
    Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya speaking at the State of Devolution Address 2020 on July 23, 2020.
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    “As you know this matter is with the Senate and the National Assembly, we hope that they can resolve this issue as soon as possible but beyond September 16, we will have no option but to shut down all the counties,” he stated.

    There are 190,000 staff serving under the county public service boards and the county assembly service boards.

    He warned that the counties had not been able to pay workers their salaries for the month of August.

    “We regret that some counties have not been able to pay salaries and we want to tell our employees to be prepared to go without salaries if this matter is not resolved by September 16,” he added.

    On September 15, Uhuru convened a leaders meeting at State House to discuss the County revenue sharing stalemate at the Senate.

    The meeting resolved that depending on the financial performance of the economy, the Government would allocate an additional Kshs 50 billion to Counties as part of efforts to strengthen devolution for the 2021/22 financial year. 

    The Head of State urged Senators to urgently resolve the revenue sharing impasse at the Senate so as to avoid disruption of service delivery in the Counties.

    In the revenue allocation dispute, governors are demanding Ksh335 billion while the national government insists it can only disburse Ksh316 billion.

    President Uhuru Kenyatta (Right) chairing a meeting at State House on September 15, 2020.
    President Uhuru Kenyatta (Right) Chairing the Leaders meeting at State House on September 15, 2020.
    PSCU