The Directive by President Uhuru Kenyatta on Madaraka Day that the national governments’ accounting officers settle all pending payments to suppliers that don’t have audit queries on or before 30th June 2019 and that the Treasury should secure full compliance with the directive was laudable. But the question is, does the Treasury have the money to ensure compliance?
We submit that the President may be a victim of those charged to run the Treasury not being candid with him and telling him that the national government is broke. That state has been manifested over and over in the recent past through the Treasury’s persistent borrowing including from the World Bank and the domestic market.
How long did it take for the National Treasury to comply with the previous Presidential directive to pay sugarcane farmers, maize farmers after the Mashujaa Day order on 20th October 2018? It took months and after a hue and cry over the failure to honour the directive. Those owed money as suppliers of goods, services and works by the national government and County government must cross their fingers and brace for more frustrations.
The Head of State’s directive gave discretion to the accounting officers to only pay where “there is no audit query”. Unfortunately, it’s the same government officers that will put up bogus, fictitious audit queries to justify non-compliance with the directive. Or worse they will seek bribes from those waiting for payments otherwise audit queries are put on the suppliers’ payment.
The trouble is that it is now becoming increasingly clear that some Presidential directives can’t be taken to the bank by anyone as those below the President can and will subvert those directives at will. That is a dangerous trend for this country as it erodes the citizen’s confidence in the highest office in the land.
It is less than 30 days to 30th June 2019 and the suppliers who are owed money by the National and County governments will be waiting with bated breath to see whether the order will be respected, complied with or broken in its compliance.
The economy of Kenya remains in headwinds and President Kenyatta must seriously consider a serious radical surgery of those he entrusted to run the economy so that new heads, figures who have nothing to cover up take up the mantle and repair our dysfunctional economy and inspire new hope and directions.
Anything short of that is to keep the country at ransom in the hands of those who have mismanaged the economy for the last seven years. Time is running out for a brave shakeup to our economic direction and stewardship