By John Papanoo
When Nairobi County Governor Mike Sonko took over the office in 2017, he found pending Bills standing at Ksh. 64 Billion.
The governor further realized most of the bills were fake, prompting him to go to court and obtained a moratorium stopping suppliers from forcing him to make payments until the bills were verified by his administration.
In order to fast-track this, Governor Sonko set up the first Pending Bills Committee headed by Senior Advocates PLO Lumumba and Eric Mutua.
Nairobi was not only the first county to form such committee, it set the standard for other counties on how to deal with the pending bills.
Sonko and his team were able to prove to the Lumumba Committee that most of the pending bills were fake and for ghost projects and brought the sum down to Ksh. 23 Billion only,meaning Sonko saved Nairobi County Ksh. 41 Billion.
Indeed, many of the suppliers of ghost projects behind the Ksh. 41 Billion fake bills had not offered Sonko 10% kickbacks but some of them were willing to share half of the money with him having not supplied any consideration to the county and with nothing to lose.
“Personally i rejected their offer, cant just eat wanjikus money so that i can make few cartels happy,”Sonko said.
However, Sonko knowing Nairobi is greater than all said no to self enrichment and turned down offers running up to Ksh. 20 Billion from suppliers of hot air and saved Nairobi County Ksh. 41 Billion.
And it didn’t stop there as Governor Sonko requested the Auditor General to further scrutinize the balance of the payments of Ksh. 23 Billion further finding only Ksh. 11.5 Billion of it was eligible for payment. So far, Governor Sonko has seen the County pay over Ksh. 3.5 Billion worth of pending bills.
Therefore, from Ksh. 64 Billion when Sonko took over from Kidero in August 2017 till today, he has managed to reduce the pending bills, to one eighth of what was due and pending at the time.
Nairobi is now leading in clearing pending bills having settled more than Ksh. 5 Billion inclusive of statutory debts.