Pain for suppliers as Governor Kawira Mwangaza rejects Sh430m pending bills claims

Kawira Mwangaza

Meru Governor Kawira Mwangaza flags off 10 riders who will act as traffic marshals in Meru town on March 3, 2023. Ms Mwangaza's government has rejected payment of Sh430 million pending bills.

Photo credit: David Muchui I Nation Media Group

Meru County government has committed to clear Sh407 million out of Sh1.2 billion pending bills accrued from the previous administrations.

The amount has been provided for in the supplementary budget that was approved by the County Assembly on Wednesday.

According to a report of the committee on the pending bills, which completed its work last month, about Sh507 million was due for payment.

The committee recommended that bills worth Sh224.3 million be settled after contractors complete their projects.

However, the committee advised the governor against paying Sh431.2 million in pending bills.

“The non-payable pending bills are a result of shoddy work, non-existent projects or work that needs further investigation. The report also revealed a lot of gaps which my government will address exhaustively,” Governor Kawira Mwangaza said.

Finance executive Monica Kathono said the remaining Sh100 million in payable pending bills will be covered in the next financial year.

Assembly committee on budget and appropriation chairman Jacob Mwirigi said the budget has grown by Sh1.1 billion from increased allocation.

Salary arrears

While approving the supplementary budget, the assembly called for urgent measures to manage the county’s ballooning wage bill.

Meru County’s wage bill has grown from Sh4.8 billion to Sh5.3 billion due to Sh590 million in salary arrears accrued from last year.

The supplementary budget also seeks to increase the fuel budget by Sh20 million with the finance executive indicating that the Sh50 million allocated had already been depleted.

Another Sh10 million has been allocated for motor vehicle maintenance while MCAs will get Sh152 million for car grants.  

The county will spend Sh3.6 billion on development this financial year.