The war between the Bungoma County executive and the Assembly seems to be simmering as County employees miss salaries. The standoff orchestrated by the wars has seen both Houses exchange bitterly over the issue. This morning, The county has issued a press release over the matter.
“I wish to address the unfortunate circumstance that has occasioned the delay of payment of May salaries to our officers, a first since we assumed leadership on the 8th of August 2017.
One of the measures this government took at the onset of our term was to create a salary buffer that ensured that the treasury always had 2 months salary to cushion our officers from the erratic cash flow that has been a challenge with devolution.
This explains why Bungoma County has always paid its officers on time even when other counties were stuck.
The need to meet Human Resource requirements across the County occasioned the recruitment of officers in the Departments of Agriculture, Health and Roads even as others were promoted to fill vacant positions.
The Supplementary Budget forwarded to the County Assembly in January factored in all these salary changes but unfortunately it was only passed in March and not as was forwarded but with changes that made it impossible to pay salaries in the said departments.
This unfortunate turn necessitated the tabling of the second supplementary budget that we hoped would address this anomaly. For reasons that are as unfortunate as are regrettable, the County Assembly has been unable to discuss and pass the same.
I wish for our officers to note that, no monies can be spent without being appropriated by the county assembly.
While we have salaries for all the other departments, we feel it will be wrong and unfair to our officers in some departments paid their salaries to the exclusion of others on account of a technicality that can be addressed.
I wish to ask our officers to exercise patience even as we work at ensuring this impasse is resolved.
I also wish to let our officers know that no monies meant for salaries has been diverted to any other project and I would ask that this kind of misinformation be dismissed with utmost contempt.
I understand the place and role of civil servants in the efficient running of this government and I take great responsibility in ensuring their well being is never compromised especially at the altar of politics and unwarranted power play.
I want to assure out officers that salaries will resume as soon as the supplementary budget is tabled and passed.” Read the statement.
It remains to be seen how the matter will go as the county financial year ends this month.