Governors wants cash-sharing rules reviewed

Monday, September 16th, 2019 20:13 |
CoG chair Wycliffe Oparanya (left) with Kisii Governor James Ongwae (centre) and Tana River’s Dhadho Godhana at Supreme Court, yesterday. Photo/PD/Bernard Malonza

Governors have demanded a structured and enforceable budget-making process for counties.

Council of Governors (CoG) chair Wycliffe Oparanya yesterday said counties were likely to face financial difficulties next year if the conflict between the Senate and the National Assembly regarding the controversial Division of Revenue Bill is not resolved.

He conceded that the disbursement of Sh316 billion to the counties was underway but warned that the teething legislative hurdles facing the enactment of the crucial bill were far from over.

“We hope the Supreme Court will hear the issues we have raised concerning the Division of Revenue Bill. This matter has taken too long although we will be patient,” Oparanya said.

Lawyers Issa Mansour and Peter Wanyama, representing the COG confirmed to the six-member Supreme Court bench that the Senate was in session in Kitui to discuss the distribution of the Sh316 billion allocated to counties. 

Mediation report

Lawyers Sam Mwendwa, representing the Speaker of the National Assembly Justin Muturi and Wangechi Thanji, for the Speaker of the Senate, Ken Lusaka, said an agreement on the quantum had been reached.

Chief Justice David Maraga, who chaired yesterday’s session at the Supreme Court Building, directed the warring parties to file a formal mediation report by Monday next week (September 23) reflecting accounts for this year’s financial budgets for counties. 

Justice Maraga, who  was sitting with Justices Mohamed Ibrahim, Jackton Ojwang, Smokin Wanjala, Njoki Ndung’u and Isaac Lenaola, said the Supreme Court would deliver a ruling on October 8 on whether it has the jurisdiction to entertain applications for advisory opinions regarding the contentious Division of Revenue Bill. 

During the court’s first session on June 23, the CJ had expressed the court’s reservations with handling the case, citing “reluctance” to intervene in the battle between the Executive and the two Houses of Parliament over the sharing of money between the two levels of government.

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