BY SAM ALFAN.
Nairobi County have moved to court seeking to stop payments to all creditors so as to allow audit pending bills amounting to 60 billion shilling.
“The County is willing to settle the pending decrees but needs time to pay after scrutiny, and ascertaining the status of the various payments”, state court documents
According to Sonko through his lawyers Thomas Letangule and Elias Mutuma says that, the County’s liabilities as at June 30, 2017, stood at 56,516,365,308.32 shillings which amount is inclusive of debts due to statutory bodies, suppliers and contractors, long term loans, contingent liabilities and employee benefits.
Sonko says the County inherited these huge debts from the defunct City Council of Nairobi and the immediate predecessor which have significantly affected cash flows and the county is in the process of developing a debt management strategy with a view to liquidate all debts inherited from the defunct council City Council of Nairobi.
According to the court papers other debts arising from court cases makes a total sum of 3, 004, 177, 668 shillings
Sonko says that the county is experiencing financial constraints and is not in a position to immediately pay under the county’s current financial year owing to limited and restricted sources of revenue.
Similarly the county boss claim that the County is experiencing financial constraints that have made it difficult for the county to meet its monthly obligations as well as settle debts accrued by its predecessor and particularly settle the decretal sums issued against it.
“Some of the creditors have initiated and pursued execution against the County Government via attachment and committal proceedings, seeking to have Nairobi City County officers committed to civil jail for failure by the Nairobi City County to satisfy decretal sums, and such arrest and/or imprisonment will be unfair and contrary to the Constitution with specific regard to freedom of movement, devolution and its objectives.
The county now says it’s apprehensive that arresting and detaining the County’s officials has the potential of bringing to a standstill or throwing into disarray the functioning of Nairobi City County, including payment of creditors, contrary to public interest and policy.
“If the creditors are allowed to continue with the execution the move is likely to expose the County government and the public at large to further untold liabilities and eventual loss of public funds.
“I note that the application seeks to payment of decretal given into a law suit judgment obtained after court process. That been fact I see no urgency in the application” ruled the judge.
He directed the application be served to the respondents and appear for further directions on February 5.