The Council of Governors (CoG) has announced a shutdown county operations countrywide due to lack of funds.

On Tuesday, CoG chairman Wycliffe Oparanya said in a statement that county governments had no choice but to suspend and shut down all non-essential services.

Mr Oparanya, who is the Kakamega Governor, said: “All non-essential services are hereby suspended and county employees advised to proceed on leave for two weeks.”

Early in September, the CoG had said that counties would shut down on the 17th of September if the revenue sharing formula standoff would not have been resolved.

Oparanya said: “It is unfortunate that county governments are unable to even pay the salaries and allowances of our health workers, who remain in the front-line to save lives of Kenyans during the current situation. In this regard, if the prevailing situation persists, effective September 17, counties will have no choice but to shut down.”

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He had warned that county government services would not be available as the devolved units were going through a tough time. He added that they were unable to effectively carry out their duties and operations. The could not pay salaries and fund development projects, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic.

On Tuesday, President Uhuru Kenyatta held a meeting in a bid to resolve the county revenue sharing stalemate in the Senate. He urged senators to urgently resolve the matter to avoid stalling county service delivery.

The meeting was attended by former Prime Minister Raila Odinga and CoG chairman Oparanya, Senators Beatrice Kwamboka and Johnes Mwaruma Mwashushe (Taita-Taveta), and Senate Majority and Minority leader Samuel Poghisio, and James Orengo, respectively, and Senator Fatuma Dullo.

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For his part, Meru Governor Kiraitu Murungi said: “Our workers, including doctors and nurses, have not been paid and our motor vehicles have been grounded for two weeks.”

Oparanya has asked the county government health facilities to offer minimal outpatient services and not to admit any new patients.

The meeting resolved that depending on the financial performance of the economy in the next financial year 2021/22, the government would allocate an extra Ksh50 billion as part of efforts to strengthen devolution in counties.

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