10 county bosses oppose new revenue sharing plan

Friday, July 3rd, 2020 00:00 |
Kiambu Senator Kimani Wamatangi.

Eric Wainaina @EWainaina

Governors from northern Kenya and Coast, whose counties are set to lose under the new revenue sharing formula, have appealed for its suspension, even as their counterparts from populous regions insisted that it must be adopted.

The ten county chiefs under the Frontier Counties Development Council (FCDC) led by Mandera’s Ali Roba, argued that if approved, the draft formula currently before the Senate would drastically affect service delivery and stall projects.

Under the new formula, counties with high population such Nairobi and Kiambu are set to be allocated more revenue against those with huge land mass, but low population such as Mandera.

Besides population, basic equal share, poverty, land area, development, personnel emolument and fiscal responsibility, the new formula places particular emphasis on functions.

Under the new arrangement, at least 29 counties gain more revenue with 18 others losing at least a billion shillings each.

Yesterday, leaders from Garissa, Wajir, Marsabit, Isiolo, Samburu, Turkana, Tana River, West Pokot, Lamu and Mandera, who constitute the frontier bloc, appealed to President Uhuru Kenyatta and Senate to consider posting  implementation of the formula by at least one year.

Effect on projects

“Any sudden reduction in fund flows without notice leaves counties with little option to re-plan and complete projects. It  will inevitably lead to stalled projects, especially for those that are midstream,” Roba said in a statement to newsrooms yesterday. 

The governor added: “Considering impact of Covid-19, and depressed own source revenues in all counties, it will be disastrous to implement the new revenue sharing formula instantly as this will adversely affect ongoing projects.”

The proposed formula­—which is supposed to be applied in the current financial year—was set for consideration by the Senate e on Tuesday afternoon, but debate on it was differed for senators to reach consensus. 

Senate Speaker Ken Lusaka has called for a Kamukunji next week to discuss the matter.

“It must be remembered that the North and North Eastern counties of Kenya have high levels of poverty at 70 per cent and have poor access to basic services like roads, electricity connection and water supply,” the 10 county chiefs said. 

But Kiambu senator Kimani Wamatangi yesterday defended the new formula saying it would ensure equity in distribution of resources.

“The debate here is not about being unfair to some counties, but to ensure that all counties are treated equally.

The marginalised counties have for the past seven years been allocated huge funds to speed development while the developed ones were left with little for development and this cannot be allowed to continue because we will end up creating new marginalised counties,” he told People Daily.

Losers and winners

Under the new formula, Wajir county’s allocation would be cut by Sh.1.9 billion, while Mandera and Marsabit would see their revenues drop by Sh1.8 billion each.

Others losers include Garissa (Sh1.2 billion), Tana River (Sh1.5 billion), Mombasa (Sh1.6 billion), Kwale (Sh995 million), Narok (Sh887m), Isiolo (Sh879m), Kilifi (Sh878m), Turkana (Sh450m), Kitui (Sh219m), Makueni (Sh302m), Samburu (Sh294m), Taita Taveta (Sh388m), Tharaka Nithi (Sh367m) and Vihiga (Sh361m).

Winners would be Kiambu (Sh1.3 billion), Nairobi (Sh1.2b), Uasin Gishu (Sh923m), Nandi (Sh788m), Kajiado (Sh765m), Nakuru (Sh744m), Laikipia (Sh660m, Trans Nzoia (Sh656m), Kirinyaga (Sh538m), Baringo (Sh537m), Bomet (Sh456m) and West Pokot (Sh444m).

Makueni Senator Mutula Kilonzo Jnr says he’ll rally his colleagues to oppose the formula’s adoption. 

“I will propose we make an amendment to reject the formula and revert to the old one that struck a balance between the perceived richer and poor counties,” he said.

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