Dialogue over revenue row, CJ asks governors and MPs

Governors Mwangi Wa Iria, Josphat Nanok and Paul Chepkwony at the Supreme Court yesterday. [George Njunge, Standard]
Chief Justice David Maraga has told governors to seek mediation with the Senate and National Assembly to unlock the stalemate over revenue allocation to counties.

Justice Maraga said although the Supreme Court is ready and prepared to determine the dispute, which has led to near paralysis in some counties, the court will be happy if they can reach an agreement to save the time it will take handling the case.

“I believe the people involved can talk and resolve the issues before we settle down to hearing the application for advisory opinion filed by the governors. That will save us time and allow us to move forward,” he said.

The CJ made the remarks as National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi accused governors and senators of being selfish by filing several court cases in their pursuit of more funds to the counties.

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Muturi wants the case filed by the Council of Governors at the Supreme Court dismissed, arguing that there are similar disputes pending before the High Court and the Court of Appeal.

Through lawyer Mbarak Awadh, Muturi filed an objection to the suit, arguing that the Supreme Court judges lack jurisdiction to hear applications regarding constitutional interpretation on how the Senate and National Assembly should pass laws.

“In any case, the governors have not demonstrated whether they sought the opinion of the Attorney General on the dispute over division of revenue before coming to court. Their case revolves around issues which will embarrass the Supreme Court as they are pending in other courts,” said Awadh.

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He said the questions being raised by governors over division of revenue are similar to what senators raised when they filed a constitutional petition at the High Court on Thursday, which shows they are duplicating matters to confuse the courts.

The county bosses are fighting with the MPs over Sh310 billion allocated to counties.

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David MaragaSupreme CourtSenate