Govt Clears Ksh5.7 Billion Prisons Debt

  • Prisoners Working
    The Kenya Prisons Project helps inmates acquire technical skills to help them merge better with society and break the cycle of crime once they are released.
  • The government has begun the process of clearing debts owed by the Prisons department amounting to Ksh5,724,820,121.

    Principal Secretary for Correctional Services Zeinab Hussein in a statement disclosed that the cabinet had directed the State Department through the Pending Bills Multi-agency Team (PB-MAT) to undertake a final and thorough verification of the pending claims.

    Following successful verification of the historical outstanding pending claims by the state department as directed by the cabinet, the national government provided sufficient funds to settle the verified claims.

    "The payment exercise is currently ongoing and is organized based on regions according to the verification exercise. North Eastern region has already been paid whereas Upper Eastern is about to be concluded. Therefore, suppliers who have not been paid, are requested to exercise patience," she urged

    Correctional Service Principal Secretary Zainab Hussein at a past hearing before National Assembly’s Public Accounts Committee
    Correctional Services Principal Secretary Zainab Hussein at a past hearing before National Assembly’s Public Accounts Committee.
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    PS Hussein further stated that the exercise involved handling numerous and voluminous payment documents and advised suppliers that payments were ongoing with strict adherence to financial, audit and accounting procedures.

    Earlier in July 2020, Kenya Prison suppliers staged protests in Nairobi Central Business District over unpaid dues by the government.

    Over 2,500 suppliers claimed the government had accrued pending bills totaling to Ksh 6.2 billion with their efforts to get paid falling on deaf ears.

    The protesters also urged President Uhuru Kenyatta to address the matter noting that he gave a directive that suppliers are paid.

    The suppliers claim to have disbursed various goods that were used by prisons all over Kenya between 2009 and June 2018.

    On Wednesday, May 20 the government committed to clear pending bills owed to suppliers in the State Department for Correctional Services by June 30.

    As the government began payments, the PS advised the suppliers to ensure their claims are as per the National Treasury and Secretariat pending claims list as well as having enough supporting documents.

    "Suppliers are hereby informed that the exercise is being conducted transparently, fairly and accountably and thus no need for third parties or brokers purporting to assist them.

    "The State Department for Correctional Services is committed and assures all suppliers with legitimate claims that they will be paid as funds are available and secure," PS Hussein assured.

    Entrance area at the Shimo la Tewa Prison in Kilifi.
    Entrance area at the Shimo la Tewa Prison in Kilifi.
    File