Mediation talks on county funding collapse once again
Mediation talks by a team comprising members from the two Houses on the funding on counties flopped again yesterday as Members of the National Assembly proposed reduction of budgetary allocations to the three arms of government to fund allocations to the devolved units as demanded by the Senate.
The National Assembly team, led by Leader of Majority Aden Duale said they will only attend the next meeting scheduled for next week on condition the clerks of the two Houses, Chief Registrar of the Judiciary and the National Treasury give a nod on money to be deducted from their budget to fund the counties.
“This is the only available area where we can raise the Sh19 billion to meet the figure demanded by the Senate,” Duale told the meeting chaired by Senator Mohamed Mahamoud (Mandera) and Moses Lessonet (Eldama Ravine).
“The President, who is the Controller of the Budget, has pronounced himself that there is no more money to add over and above what was passed by the NA,” he said.
The stalemate means that County governments will continue facing financial crunch that has crippled their operations.
The bone of contention has been on the amount of money to be allocated to the counties with the National Assembly sticking to Sh316 billion and the Senate Sh335 billion.
During the meeting at the County Hall, members from the two Houses openly differed on the source of the additional funds. The talks have been derailed over the difference of Sh19 billion difference between Senate’s figure and NA’s, and Sh6billion for medical equipment leasing.
Senator Okong’o Omogeni (Nyamira) called for a thorough analysis of the whole budget of entire government agencies at both levels.
But Minority Leader John Mbadi rejected his suggestion, saying the committee and the senators have no role in looking at the national budget.
Meanwhile, National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi has proposed amendments to the Public Finance Management (PFM) Act to unlock the deadlock over the Division of Revenue Bill 2019.