The revenue sharing formula stalemate has nosedived South with two opposing sides drifting further apart and with no signs of consensus in the horizon.
While Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja led ‘Team Kenya’ in support of an amendment that will see the baseline for revenue sharing among counties reduced to between Sh250 billion and Sh270 billion, the other faction insists that a consensus can only be arrived at through a mediation committee.
The faction, which styles itself as ‘Team Kenya’ is now supporting Meru Senator Mithika Linturi’s proposal to amend Sakaja’s proposal. The other faction that supports ‘one man, one vote, one shilling’ mantra accused the former of failing to second names to a yet-to-be-established mediation committee to be chaired by Deputy Speaker Margaret Kamar (Uasin Gishu).
Sakaja, in his amendment to the Senate Finance report on revenue sharing, had proposed that the baseline for the counties allocation be retained as in the 2019-20 financial year to be Sh316.5 billion and any other amount over and above that, the parameters as set out in the report, should be applied.
‘Team Kenya’ which defeated Senate Majority Whip Irungu Kang’ata (Murang’a) amendments last week has now thrown its weight behind Linturi in a bid to soften their hardline stance ahead of Tuesday vote. According to Sakaja’s proposal, parameters like population at 18 per cent, health (17), agriculture (10), urban (5), poverty (14), land area (8), fiscal effort (1), roads (6), prudence (1) and basic share (20) should be applied.
Yesterday, senators Kipchumba Murkomen (Elgeyo Marakwet), Ledama ole Kina (Narok), Mahamud Mohammed (Mandera), Ibrahim Ali (Wajir), Charles Ekal (Turkana) and Agnes Zani (nominated) at a press briefing in Nairobi, rooted for Linturi’s amendments.
Murkomen disclosed that they have mandated Linturi to burn the midnight oil together with Sakaja to harmonise the document even as they plan a spirited fight to pass the amendment when the House resumes on Tuesday.
The former majority whip argued that by lowering the baseline, no county will gain billions at the extent of others losing money. This is what was circulated in the Senators WhatsApp group as seen by Whispers;
Statement by Senators on the Third Basis For Revenue Sharing Among Counties
It is now public knowledge that there has been protracted engagement in the Senate concerning the basis for allocating, among counties, the share of national revenue otherwise now called County Allocation of Revenue Formula.
This engagement has led to a proposal developed by the Senate Committee on Finance and Budget with various amendments from different Senators.
As you may recall an amendment proposed by the Senate Majority Whip was dispensed with last week and an amendment proposed by Sen. Johnstone Sakaja is currently being debated in the Senate.
On Tuesday, 4th August, 2020 after the bipartisan negotiations among like-minded Senators across the divide, Senator Kipchumba Murkomen moved an adjournment motion to give room for dialogue and to enable us reach a consensus on the best resolution which protects the interests of all counties. Having had further engagements we would like to update the public as follows;
- We are supporting an amendment sponsored by Senator Mithika Linturi which is a further amendment to the one sponsored by Sen. Sakaja
- The Linturi Amendment retains the parameters contained in Sen. Sakaja’s original amendment but only lowers the amount that will be shared to the counties using the existing resolution. This amount shall range between Ksh250Billion and Ksh270 Billion. The exact amount shall be agreed upon once the negotiations are complete
- Anything above the agreed figure as indicated above shall be shared using the formula proposed by the Senator Sakaja.
- Towards finding a final solution, we have mandated Sen. Sakaja to work with Sen. Linturi in consultation with other colleagues to ensure that they burn the midnight oil and give us the final document on or before Monday, 10th August, 2020. Both Senators will agree on how to co-sponsor the approved version.
- We believe that the proposed solution(s) will bring to an end the prolonged debate on this matter and that on Tuesday, 11th August, 2020 the Senate will pass the final version unanimously.
We appreciate the people of Kenya for exercising patience as we navigate through these complex negotiations on resource allocation.
However, another team led by Senators Samson Cherargei (Nandi), Susan Kihika (Nakuru), Michael Mbitho (Trans Nzoia), John Kinyua (Laikipia), Naomi Shiyonga, Gertrude Musuruve and Isaac Mwaura, all nominated, took a swipe at their colleague’s refusal to second names to the mediation committee.
The team insisted there is no compromise on the issue and accused their colleagues of acting in bad faith.
Senators have already planned a ‘Kamkunji’ (informal meeting) on Monday to agree before they take a vote on Tuesday.