Keeping Your Business in Mind

Gathungu queries 11 firms owed half of Nairobi’s legal fees pending bill

By Antynet Ford

Nairobi City County government owes legal firms more money than what was collected in the financial period that ended in June 2023; Auditor General Report for 2022/2023 reveals.

The report by Nancy Gathungu indicates the Sakaja-led administration owes a staggering Sh 10.7 billion to eleven law firms out of the total 832.

This exceeds the capital’s own source revenue for the same period which was 10.6 meaning if the county decides to pay the debt, they would go for two years without offering services to Nairobians.

According to the report, the amount owed to the eleven law firms id an equal of fifty percent of the legal pending bills of Nairobi.

“ Analysis of the revenue against legal fees revealed that eleven advocates of a legal of 832 casa equivalent to 1% are owed  a total of Sh 10,741, 451,631 which is more than the county own source revenue collected amount of 10, 561,592,492.” Gathungu said.

“In the circumstance, for Nairobi County to pay the 132 advocates of the legal cases, the county will need to collect own source revenue for a period of two years without providing any service to the public.”  She added.

The payment of legal fees has remained a thorn in the flesh for city hall even in the past administrations where a committee was formed just as Sakaja did this year to check on the legality of the payments and plans for taking care of them.

Sakaja formed a 12-member committee led by Advocate Kamotho Waiganjo and Sylvia Mueni Kassanga as the Vice Chairperson to review and verify the then Sh 2.1 billion for legal services that were yet to be paid.

In June 2023, the Controller of budget Margret Nyakang’o declined the request by City Hall to approve Sh 1.3 billion as payment of legal fees.

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She said the given schedule for nineteen firms did not include the dates for the invoices and therefore she was unable to ascertain whether they were pending bills to work done and invoiced in the current financial year.

“Please provide a clarification on the issues to enable my office facilitate the requisition because it is difficult to match the proposed payments with the pending bills report presented earlier.” She said.

In the AG report, Gathungu raises queries on why Sakaja prioritized payment of legal firms over other bills which have been long overdue.

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