The government of Kenya has begun the process of clearing debts owed by the Prison department worth Sh5,724,820,121.
In a press statement by the Correctional Services, the Correctional Services Principal Secretary Zeinab Hussein revealed that the cabinet had directed the State Department through the Pending Bills Multi-agency Team (PB-MAT) to carry out a final and thorough verification of the pending claims.
The national government provided sufficient funds to settle the verified claims after successful verification of the historical outstanding pending claims by the state department as directed by the cabinet.
Zeinab urged suppliers who have not been paid yet to be patient, noting that the payment exercise is ongoing and is organized based on regions according to the verification exercise.
She said that the North-Eastern region has already been paid with Upper Eastern, almost being concluded.
The PS further noted that the exercise involved handling numerous and huge payment documents and advised suppliers that the payments were ongoing with strict adherence to financial, audit, and accounting procedures.
In July this year, Kenya Prison suppliers held protests within the Nairobi Central Business District (CBD)over unpaid dues by the government.
More than 2,500 suppliers claimed that the Kenyan government had accumulated pending bills amounting to Sh6.2 billion with their efforts to get their dues paid on deaf ears.
The protestors also pleaded with President Uhuru Kenyatta to address the matter as he had given a directive that they get paid.
The suppliers claim to have disbursed various goods that were used by prisons all over the country between 2009 and June 2018.
On Wednesday, May 20, the government promised to clear pending bills owed to suppliers in the State Department for Correctional Services by June 30.
As the government began payments, PS Hussein advised the suppliers to ensure their claims are as per the National Treasury and Secretariat pending claims list and have enough supporting documents.