Pending bills promise should come to pass


The National Treasury building in Nairobi in this picture taken on March 15, 2023. PHOTO | DENNIS ONSONGO | NMG

Government suppliers who are owed more than Sh641 billion by the State will this week be watching the Treasury follow through with its plan to table a Cabinet memorandum highlighting the plan to pay their arrears by September.

Treasury Principal Secretary Chris Kiptoo told MPs last week that he will formulate a supplementary budget to clear all pending bills.

The problem with the pending bills nightmare is that this is not the first time the government is promising to pay.

The State corporations owe suppliers and contractors Sh407 billion, county governments (Sh160 billion) and ministries, departments and agencies (Sh18.3 billion) and counting.

Dr Kiptoo says the Cabinet is expected to approve the formation of a multi-agency team to review the huge pending bills.

It is important that Parliament conclude and table findings of its investigations into allegations of diversion of payments meant for suppliers that have been blamed for the growing pending bills.

The Controller of Budget says payments are diverted from rightful payees to other suppliers, worsening the headache.

It is time to hold the Executive accountable for this latest promise regarding the bills.