Senators approve funds bill with amendments

Thursday, August 8th, 2019 00:00 |
National Assembly in session. Photo/SAMUEL KARIUKI

Senators yesterday passed the National Assembly’s version of the Division of Revenue bill with amendments, setting the stage for another round of dispute between the two Houses of Parliament.

In what appears to be unending sibling rivalry between the Houses, Senate failed to concur with the National Assembly, meaning the bill will for the second time be committed to a mediation committee.

Senators and MPs have been fighting over what amount of funds should go to counties, with the latest move by senators likely to deepen the county government’s financial crisis that enters its third week.

Issue notice

The Kenya County Government Workers Union (KCGWU) has already issued a seven-day strike notice over delayed July salaries caused by the impasse on the revenue bill.

“Workers are not party to the division of revenue dispute hence any delay is illegal and unacceptable,” the union’s secretary general Roba Duba said on Tuesday.

Senate has settled on Sh335 billion as the equitable shareable revenue for counties in the 2019/20 financial year, reverting to their initial proposal.

While moving the bill for the second reading, Finance committee chairman Mohamed Mahamud (Mandera) proposed removal of Sh6.2billion for servicing of the Medical Lease Equipment (MES) from the National Assembly’s bill.

He also suggested that the vote for the conditional grants for water tower protection and climate change mitigation and adaptation programme be increased from Sh495million proposed by National Assembly to Sh880 million.“Our sister house should respect the Constitution,” he said.

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