Civil servants including lawmakers and county government workers are feeling the pinch following the delayed payment of their salaries. So far, teachers and members of the disciplined forces – police and soldiers – are among the few civil servants that have received their March pay.
Reports indicate that the government is facing a cash-flow crisis, with spending demands failing to match up to lower revenue collections by the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA). In a statement issued on April 7, National Assembly minority leader Opiyo Wandayi decried the situation, taking the President William Ruto-led administration to task over the delayed disbursement of funds to counties and delayed payment of salaries.
“For the first time since independence in 1963, the government of Kenya is unable to pay salaries to civil servants and members of parliament. Nearly all civil servants don’t know when or if they will ever be paid. The situation has been degenerating progressively since December last year,” he wrote.
“For the first time in our history, even MPs have not been paid as we head into mid-month,” Wandayi asserted.
At the same time, counties have not received funds from the National Treasury for the past four months. Mombasa Governor Abdulswamad Nassir earlier this week claimed devolution was under siege as he demand the immediate disbursement of the funds, noting that county operations could grind to a halt.
“Over the last four months, counties have not received their equitable share from the national government. The delays undermine county governments,” he shared.
“Despite well-formulated guidelines, we are witnessing a subversion of devolution through systematic under-allocation of funds. In recent weeks, the country has seen a deliberate effort to frustrate the fair and equitable share of revenue to the devolved units.”
Highlighting the Kenya Kwanza administration’s scrapping of subsidies on fuel and maize flour, as well as various taxation increases, Wandayi questioned where the savings were going. He also questioned the creation of 50 Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) offices.
“Where the proceeds from taxes and savings from scrapped subsidies are going, we can’t tell. The easy conclusion is that the criminals at KRA are collecting and pocketing taxes as the incompetents at the National Treasury also skim off the revenue while failing to come up with sound policies for cash flow,” he shared in the hard-hitting statement.