Divisions set to dominate revenue sharing sittings

Monday, September 7th, 2020 00:00 |
Senate Speaker Ken Lusaka during a past session. Photo/PD/FILE

Divisions over the controversial revenue allocation formulae is once again set to play out on the floor of the Senate when it resumes sittings tomorrow.

The 12-member task force set up to broker a deal over the formulae is yet to reach consensus in a move that could further delay disbursement of cash to counties.

With no deal from the committee co-chaired by Bungoma Senator Moses Wetangula and his Nairobi counterpart Johnson Sakaja, the House will resume with the business that was on the floor before it adjourned to try to develop consensus.

According to Senate Speaker Kenneth Lusaka of urgency to the senate is to find a lasting solution to the revenue sharing stalemate.

“We are determined to pull all stops and burn the midnight oil to ensure there is a lasting solution to the revenue standoff to ensure counties get money by the end of this week,” Lusaka told People Daily on Sunday.

He however admitted of “things being very thick’ in regards to the revenue sharing standoff only disclosing that Senators cannot agree because of the many squabbles on the formula to be used to share monies to the counties.

 “There are those who want use population as one of the parameters on one side, there are also those who want to use land mass to share revenue,” the Speaker said

“In the circumstances, the matter will come up on Tuesday and just like we have handled other matters in the Senate a vote will be taken on the amendments, there after that a vote on the committee report will also be taken,” he added.

On nine occasions, the lawmakers have failed to agree on how the 47 counties will share some Sh316.5 billion contained in the annual shareable revenue.

Also expected to be discussed by the senators includes the Elections (amendment) bill 2020 by Nyeri Senator Ephraim Maina that proposes amendments to the Elections Act so that the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) allows politicians to use their nicknames as official names in the ballot.

The Bill which is still in its infant stages was published in the Kenya Gazette on August 14 and is still open to public scrutiny as it awaits introduction at the Senate.

 Maina  has defended the Bill saying that its ultimate goal is to enhance free and fair elections by enabling electorates to choose their preferred candidates without confusion as well as protect candidates’ rights to free expression.

“Currently, the law only permits the use of a candidate’s official name as it appears in the register of voters and in the candidate’s identification documents.

A candidate who wishes to have his or her popular name included on a ballot paper has to go through the lengthy process of officially changing his or her name through the procedures set out under the Registration of Persons Act, Cap 107, the Registration of Documents Act, Cap. 285 and the Rules and Regulations made under the two Acts,” he said.

The Senate Ad-hoc Committee on Covid-19 pandemic chaired by Nominated Senator will also table its report.

lso be discussed include the pending 16 bills, reports and motions that directly concern counties as well as a   report by the committee of powers and privileges on the inquiry into the conduct of two senators Beatrice Kwamboka and Mary Seneta, who fought during the Election of the Chairperson and Vice-chairperson of the Standing Committee on Health.

The senators will also discuss the  equalisation fund bill, street vendors (protection of livelihood) bill, the county outdoor advertising control bill, the basic education (amendment) bill and the community health services bill by nominated senator Agnes Zani.

Consideration of the national assembly amendments to the county outdoor advertising control bill and the prompt payment bill sponsored by Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja and his nominated counterpart Farhiya Haji.

Motions for provision of cemetery, funeral parlours and crematoria in all counties by Nominated Senator Alice Milgo as well as operationalization of education assessment resource centres (EARCS) in counties by Senator Getrude Musuruve will be debated during the session.

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