The 25 new governors must remain with the county bank account signatories they inherited, the Central Bank of Kenya has said.
CBK said changes could only be effected after ward representatives take their oath of office, followed by their approvals of new finance executives.
“Existing signatories and internet banking users to the county government account at CBK remain authorised to transact and are accountable for the operations of those accounts until CBK is advised otherwise,” Mr Mwenda Marete, the acting CBK director of banking services, said in an August 17 letter to counties.
“CBK will be ready to receive instructions from the (new) CEC for finance, who is the officer responsible for authorising the opening, operating and closing of bank accounts of the county government and its entities.”
Bomet Governor Joyce Laboso said she would appoint a finance executive immediately to effect the changes.
“Before then, the accounts remain frozen and only those transactions I have authorised will be done.
“I have also sent my people to shadow the signatories, learn and be ready to do the job once we have an executive,” the governor told the Nation by phone.
Dr Laboso said the directive put county bosses in a tricky situation “since the signatories are cronies of our predecessors”.
“As soon as the finance executive is sworn into office, we will set the ball rolling and find new signatories,” she added.
Tana River Governor Dadho Godana told the Nation that the change of signatories was discussed when governors met on Thursday last week.
“Signatories must be held responsible if they mess [up],” he said.
Assemblies may not have the final say in the matter since introducing changes to the signatories is done by executives.
“Any request for opening, operating and closing of bank accounts for county government entities, including the assembly, shall be directed to the county treasury for consideration and approval,” Treasury CS Henry Rotich told the assemblies last year.