No Deal Yet: Kenyan Senators Yet To Agree On A Revenue Formula

Photo of the Kenya’s Senate Chamber
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Wakeupafrica360 has been reliably informed that the declaration made by the senate house on having cut out a deal on the controversial division of revenue sharing formula was all a mirage as news now coming out said it was all hot air. It has been established that there was no such deal and the senators had in fact, prepared two reports after there was a disagreement on the way forward. The two reports were handed to the senate majority leader Samuel Poghisio and Minority leader James Orengo by the 12-member committee charged with the responsibility of striking out a deal on the matter. They implored the Senate leaders to seek an audience with the President, Uhuru Kenyatta, and the Opposition Chief, Raila Odinga on the way forward. According to our correspondent, the overall issue is that the two house leaders we’re to present the reports to the two top political leaders so that they can offer leadership and direction. This development is coming as a shock since the committee offered a press conference soon after the meeting declaring that there is a deal ongoing. The debates in the chamber were highly charged as senators disagreed on the formula. Unable to make any progress, the senate set up the team to help address the differences. 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 counties that are gaining insisted that they must gain while those losing insisted that they cannot lose. One  of the reports look similar to that of the House Finance and Budget Committee that has been at the centre of a dispute for over two months now. It supports the one-man, one-vote, one shilling arrangement as advocated by senators from populous counties. Therefore, If the Finance committee’s report was to be adopted, less populous counties in Coast, North-eastern, lower Eastern, parts of Rift Valley and Nyanza, would have their allocations reduced by Sh17 billion.

On the other hand, the second report largely borrows from a formula proposed by Meru Senator Mithika Linturi in which Sh270 billion out of the Sh316.5 billion is shared equally among the devolved units. The remaining Sh46.5 billion would be shared based on parameters such as landmass, population and health among others. The committee agreed that should either of the reports be adopted, its implementation should start after two years. The committee therefore recommended that whichever formula is adopted, it should take effect after two years. We hope by then, the National Treasury shall have increased allocation to counties,” said the source.

The Senate has failed to approve the revenue sharing formula that would determine how counties would share the Sh316.5 billion allocated under the Division of Revenue between the national government and counties in the 2020/2021 financial year.

Senator Poghisio noted that what was handed to them is still a work in progress and that the matter will be looked into once the senate resumes from it’s recess on September 8, 2020. According to him, “ What was presented is not final. The documents are work still in progress. We agreed to have a break and look for fresh ideas once the Senate resumes, ” The Senate Majority Whip, Irungu Kang’at a also admitted that the committee has not completed it’s work and that discussions are still ongoing. According to him, ” No firm conclusion has been reached, the discussions we had were tentative. We will further the discussions. We expect to get a final document any time this week to give us a way forward. We have not reached out to the president and as a matter of fact, I did not indicate that and to the best of my knowledge, I am not aware,”

Senators in the likes of Ledama ole Kina (Narok), Samson Cherargei (Nandi), who are members of the committee, said its now the duty of the House leadership to make the contents public. According to Senator Ledama, “the House leadership should decide the next course of action. If there is no consensus, then the report should be brought to the House for a vote. We expect the House leadership to give direction but if nothing is achieved, then let them bring the report to the floor of the House so we take a vote,” Also Senator Cheragei went ahead to say that the committee cannot say if there is a solution. According to him, “ There is smoke but it’s not white because we have not captured the aspirations of many people as was expected. The report has been submitted to the House leadership and honors is now on them to reveal to the public the contents.”

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