Governor Samboja says county is broke, cannot pay bills or salaries

Taita-Taveta County Governor Granton Samboja. [File, Standard]

The Taita Taveta County government is broke and cannot pay salaries or implement development projects, according to governor Granton Samboja.

He said his administration is also unable to pay its bills and blamed the state of affairs in the county on delays by the National Treasury to disburse funds.

The situation, he said, has been compounded by a dip in local revenue collections as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Samboja said county staff have not been paid for three months and many services have also been affected. 

“The financial problems were are facing are not our making,” Samboja said at St Peter’s ACK Church Mwakishimba in Werugha.

“The National Treasury has not disbursed funds and as a result, we cannot pay salaries or implement development projects.” 

He added that the county is likely to tell workers to stay home until it gets money from the national government to pay them.

The county’s annual wage bill is Sh2.5 billion.

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The governor appealed to President Uhuru Kenyatta to intervene, failure to which the county services will be paralysed.

“I know you have been suffering because of the failure of the county government to pay your salaries. I feel your pain.

“I know the kind of suffering you are going through. I am doing everything possible to ensure your salaries are paid,” Samboja told the county workers who had gathered outside the church.

Samboja had been missing from the public since March 9 when he launched a Covid-19 vaccination drive at Moi County Referral Hospital in Voi town.

He said he had a minor surgery at a hospital in Nairobi and dismissed reports that he was in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) after contracting coronavirus.

He did not elaborate on the surgery or indicate which hospital he was treated at but criticised his opponents for spreading lies about his health.  

The governor has been issuing executive orders away from his office and recently announced changes to his Cabinet from Nairobi. 

He had also been sending his advisors to represent him in public functions with no official communication  about his whereabouts.

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