Senate resumes sitting with focus on counties’ cash sharing formula
Hillary Mageka @hillarymageka
Senators will today fast-track a bill on cash disbursement to counties, as the standoff over revenue sharing formula persists.
The Public Finance Management (Amendment) Bill, 2017, which originated from the National Assembly, allows the National Treasury to disburse to counties up to 50 per cent of previous year’s allocation in the event of a delay by Parliament to pass Division of Revenue Bill and County Allocation of Revenue Bill.
This comes as a scheduled members kamukunji was yesterday put off, after lawmakers disagreed.
A tent erected adjacent to the Senate chambers was yesterday hurriedly brought down, in what signaled sharp divisions ahead of this afternoon sitting.
A 12-member committee established by the Senate to unlock the contentious third basis revenue-sharing formula deadlock, was slated to table a progress report of their deliberations.
Yesterday, Senate Majority Chief Whip Irungu Kang’ata, admitted that counties were in near financial cash crunch and that remedial measures needed to be taken by concerned government agencies.
Kang’ata said that during today’s session, the House will prioritise the passage of the Public Finance and Management (Amendment) Bill.
“We shall hasten to finalise that bill, God willing we will prioritise it in the Order paper,” Kang’ata said.
On the slated kamukunji, he said: “We are meeting this morning (Tuesday) informally to discuss proposals of the 12-member committee so that at the plenary, we can have one final document supporting all the recommendations.”
He however faulted Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yattani, who had alleged that he had no legal instrument to disburse money to counties without the passage of County Revenue Allocation Bill.
While admitting existence of sharp division ahead of today’s sitting, Nandi Senator Samson Cherargei, said “there is smoke, but definitely it is not white.”
Cherargei is a member of the committee established to unlock the revenue formula stalemate.
“We are in the process of transmitting a progress report to the House leadership led by Speaker Kenneth Lusaka. We hope that we can have some progress,” Cherargei told People Daily.
“For some of us, who believe in population based allocation formula, we are more determined in our resolve and when we resume our sitting tomorrow, we will insist on the formula of equity, whose driving force being population,” he added.