Senate wants government to refund Bungoma County Sh11 million

The Senate Public Accounts and Investment committee has directed the national government to refund Sh11 million to Bungoma County.

Appearing before the committee yesterday to answer to questions raised in the audit query of 2013/14, Bungoma County governor Ken Lusaka said the county government used the money to pay pending state bills at Bungoma County Referral Hospital.

Lusaka told the committee that the contactor failed to hand over the new ward constructed in the facility until the Sh11 million is paid.

“When the National government delayed in settling the outstanding bill, we moved in and paid,” he said.

Lusaka said the pending of bills was hampering delivery of critical services to the people hence his administration decided to clear the bills.

“Since the hospital serves a large number of people in the county, we paid the bills in order for the people not to suffer,” Lusaka told the committee chaired by Kisumu Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o

Nyong’o directed the Auditor general to write to the National Treasury in order for the county to be refunded the cash.

Nyong’o also noted that the National government has been deducting money without the approval of the County Government whenever they undertake any function of the county governments.

“Our experience with the Governors that have appeared before this committee indicate that there has been a systematic deduction of money belonging to the county government by the national government without the approval of the County chiefs. This trend should be investigated,” Nyong’o said.

Kiambu Senator Kimani Wamatangi said the deductions has become a big issue and is affecting some of the operations in the county governments.

“The issue should now be investigated and where deductions have been irregularly, county governments should be refunded,” Wamatangi said.

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