By Hon. Aden Bare Duale
Alfred Mutua, the face of ignorance and cheap publicity has once again perfected his art of yapping. We know he wants to score cheap political publicity in another arm of Government. But the issue of revenue share is above his level of interpretation.
As a member of the Mediation Committee of Parliament tasked with mediating and considering the Division of Revenue Bill No.2 of 2019, there are facts that cannot be crowded by politics or sideshows.
This is what I would like to focus on and these are the facts:
1. The amount of revenue collected by counties remain minimal despite the counties having been enabled by the Constitution to realise revenue through taxation of levies and rates.
2. The collection by counties in terms of revenue is ironically dismissal compared to the defunct local authorities despite the counties having more levies and rates for collection.
3.The minimal collection by counties is attributable to lack of transparent and accountable collection systems giving room for corruption.
4. The Controller of Budget whose term has ended in her exit report noted and acknowledged the inefficiency of counties in collection of revenue.
5. Counties continue to understate how much they collect as revenue and in most cases have completely failed to report on revenue collected. One wonders where this money goes to.?
6. County governors have also stayed away from levying and collecting taxes despite being constitutionally authorized to do so due to fear of losing popularity with the citizens at the counties hence rely on the national government to do so which end effect is to make the Executive also lose credibility with mwananchi for overburdening them amidst the high cost of living. What an irony!
7. The projected collection of revenue by the National Treasury has never been realised in the past years. However the Constitution provides that the equitable share of revenue cannot be deducted even in case of a shortfall in collection of revenue. It is the national government that bears the cost of the shortfall.
8. Article 203 of the Constitution ONLY requires that a minimum of 15% of the national revenue based on audited accounts be allocated to counties as equitable share.
8.The Division of Revenue Bill No.2 of 2019 has allocated an equitable share of revenue of 316Billion which is twice the minimum set by the Constitution.
9. Based on the current fiscal framework there is already a deficit of 6.5Billion and any argument for additional allocation to counties only increases further the deficit which has the potential of hurting Kenyans more through additional taxation or borrowing in order to meet the increase in deficit.This is not what any elected leader with Kenyans in his or her mind should be heard saying or suggesting.
Huu ndio ukweli wa mambo.These are the facts. I will stick to these facts in the Mediation Committee.
Hon. Aden Barre Duale, EGH, MP
Leader of Majority, National Assembly.
Garissa Township Constituency, MP