Governor Joseph Ole Lenku left the country on Sunday for a foreign trip moments after he was informed his treasury owes contractors Sh1.5 billion.
The probe team, he had set up to investigate the status of pending bills, had just unearthed an Sh1.5 billion in unpaid debt and handed the report to Lenku.
A physically agitated Governor, according to his personal aides, who held several meetings with close aides on Friday and Saturday in Kajiado and Nairobi, is said to have been miffed by the rot at the county treasury which the probe team blamed for the pending bills mess.
Top among the departments with the highest unpaid debts, in a list we secured, is health services which have accumulated debts worth Sh430 million, while the roads and public works owe Sh352 million.
The probe team further told governor Lenku that lawyers, who work for the county, are demanding a whopping Sh210 million from current and old cases, a bill the committee the governor appointed termed as “exorbitant and unwarranted”.
The legal fees’ debts is more than other critical departments such as water, agriculture, livestock and education owe contractors.
The probe team highly, in their report, recommends a review of what led to the high legal fees yet the county has a legal department.
The internal investigation which was formed by the governor on June 7 was mandated to investigate how the county found itself in the pending bills hole.
The 8-member team that was chaired by the director of the Governor’s Delivery Unit, Richard Parsitau, recommends a restructuring of the county treasury especially the procurement.
“There is a systematic frustration of suppliers where there is over-reliance on certain officers who have resulted in manipulation of financial systems and over-dependence leading to unnecessary delays,” noted the report.
It has also recommended “weeding out of rogue county officers who have conspired to delay payments to new contractors and continue to pay old contractors,” it says.
Parsitau refused to comment on the report saying only the Governor could make a statement.
Reached by KNU while at the airport headed to Italy, Governor Lenku tersely admitted there were “issues of grave concern on county debts” and said he would issue a comprehensive statement later in the week.