Help us resolve revenue standoff, senators to Uhuru

Tuesday, September 1st, 2020 00:00 |
Irungu Kang’ata. Photo/PD/File

Hillary Mageka  @hillarymageka

President Uhuru Kenyatta and Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) leader Raila Odinga have been petitioned by the Senate House leadership to convene their respective party parliamentary group meetings to take a position on the controversial third basis for revenue sharing among counties.

This is after a 12-member committee established to strike a compromise on the row over the revenue sharing formula submitted two reports to Majority Leader Samuel Poghisio and his minority counterpart, Senator James Orengo for onward transmission to the leadership of Jubilee and Orange parties.

Although the committee co-chaired by Bungoma Senator Moses Wetangula and his Nairobi counterpart Johnson Sakaja had publicly  announced a breakthrough after eight days of “serious in-depth and long-winded deliberations,” People Daily has established that no agreement has been reached on the formula and its subsequent contentious amendments.

The submission from the Commission of Revenue Allocation (CRA) and the National Treasury did not help either. 

Senate Majority Whip, Irungu Kang’ata yesterday said the contents of the committee reports remain confidential.

“Discussions are ongoing, no firm conclusion has been reached, the discussions we have had as House leadership were tentative. We will take the discussions to our party leader,” Kang’ata said.

He added: “We expect any time this week to get a final document to give us a way forward.”

But according to Nandi Senator Samson Cherargei, who is a member of the committee, despite the numerous meetings they had not reached any settlement.

“Where we have reached we cannot say, there is no solution. Yes, there is smoke, but it’s not white because we have not captured the aspirations of many people that we expected to capture,” Cherargei said.

“From where I sit, I think we are somewhere, but I will not open the bottle of champagne at the moment, because us who are gainers must gain, we don’t have any other option,” he added.

According to some senators who are also members of the committee, the team submitted two reports because they could not agree on the best formula given that each opposing side refused to cede ground.

Sources who spoke in confidence disclosed that one of the reports by the committee is a copy cat of the one tabled by the  senate Finance and Budget committee, which advocates for a population -centred formula.

If the Finance committee report was to be adopted, less populous counties in Coast, Northeastern, lower Eastern, parts of Rift Valley and Nyanza would see their allocations reduced by Sh17 billion.

The other report largely borrows from a formula proposed by Meru Senator Mithika Linturi in which Sh270 billion out of the Sh316.5billion is shared equally among the 47 devolved units and the remaining Sh46.5 billion is shared based on parameters such as landmass, population and health among others.

The committee also agreed that should either of the two reports be adopted, its implementation should commence after two years from the date of passage.

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