The unresolved row over the 2019 Division of Revenue Bill is taking an ugly turn. Nearly every sector is screeching to a halt in the counties with only one casualty — the taxpayer who’s being denied vital services. Particularly worrying is the health sector which has borne a heavy brunt, with medics keeping away over pay amid an acute shortage of drugs and consumables.
By now, counties should have procured drugs for the first quarter of the financial year but they cannot get supplies from the Kenya Medical Supplies Agency until they clear debts.
Also, county workers and their families are facing difficult times due to nonpayment of salaries not to mention tribulations of suppliers who transacted with counties. While the MPs allocated counties Sh316 billion, senators insist the devolved units should get Sh335 billion as prescribed by the Commission on Revenue Allocation. A mediation team is yet to report progress. We warn against this unhealthy exchange by the Senate and National Assembly. The finger-pointing is unhelpful.
Even after President Uhuru Kenyatta pronounced himself on the matter, no solutions seems to be in sight. The President, governors and the leadership of the two Houses should be alive to what’s at stake and resolve the matter with the urgency it deserves to ease the suffering. Needless to say, it’s just a matter of time before political bickering, funding delays and poor intergovernmental relations sinks the devolution ship.
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