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Counties

Hotels decry cash flow crisis due to unpaid county bills

Robinson Anyal
Kisumu Hotel managers chairman Robinson Anyal. 

Hoteliers in western region have raised concerns over delay by counties to settle pending bills amounting to more than Sh50 million.

Many hotels in the region heavily depend on domestic tourists, events and conferences organised by the county governments, NGOs and private companies.

The delayed pay has negatively affected tourism, hoteliers said.

Western Kenya Hospitality Leaders Association chairman Robinson Anyal said the hotels are facing cash flow crisis due to the pending bills.

The affected hotels include Farm View Hotel, PineCone Hotel, Sovereign Hotel, Royal City, Acacia Premier Hotel, Royal Swiss Hotel, Shalom Hotel and Park View Hotel.

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"Hoteliers are finding it hard to pay suppliers and foot crucial bills," said Mr Anyal.

“Unfortunately, the county governments are not good in paying debts. Some hotels are owed millions of shilling which has accumulated over the years.”

St John's Manor Hotel manager Joshua Otieno disclosed that several counties owe the hotel more than Sh30 million since 2016.

"Some of the payments date back to the first regime of county governments. You remember some second-term governors had an issue settling the previous pending bills until President Uhuru ordered them to make payments," said Mr Otieno.

Farm View Hotel manager Dan Kubasu said some hotels in Busia have not received payment since 2014.

"There has been an issue of records getting lost at county offices. You take invoices and other relevant documents to the concerned accounts office at the county. Days later when you follow up the records are not there," said Mr Kubasu.

Sovereign Hotel manager John Legebeke said they no longer accept county reservations without cash payments.

"I hope that hoteliers will embrace this system. Counties should be setting a good example by paying bills within 30 days. We need to have business moving. We have supplies, loans and salaries to pay," said Mr Legebeke.

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