Kilifi Governor Amason Kingi and his Mombasa counterpart Hassan Joho have rejected a new revenue sharing formula proposed by the Commission on Revenue Allocation (CRA).
The two claimed the proposed formula would reverse the fruits of devolution by reducing allocations to coastal counties.
If the proposal goes through, Lamu, which has been receiving highest per capita allocation in the country, will have its allocation drop to Sh2.46 billion in the 2019/20 financial year from Sh3.54 billion this year.
Speaking after the burial of former Kilifi Deputy Governor Kenneth Kamto in Rabai last week, Kingi had said the Coast would cumulatively lose more than Sh5 billion in the new formula.
“If this formula is used, Kilifi will lose Sh1.5 billion, Mombasa Sh1.19 billion while Lamu and Kwale will lose Sh1 billion," said Mr Kingi. "We cannot allow it."
Kingi expressed fear that the new allocation formula would go against earlier plans that gave priority to marginalised areas like the Coast.
“The Government wants to control the county allocations like it controls the NG-CDF, where constituencies are allocated same amount of money despite their different needs,” he said.
Joho defended the earlier allocations, which he said had addressed historical challenges the Coast region had been facing in the old order.
“We used to cry of injustices until the 2010 Constitution was passed when the narrative began to change," he said, adding: "But the new revenue sharing plan wants to rob us of the little gains we have enjoyed since devolution started."
Joho urged senators to reject the proposal when it gets to the House for debate.
He said counties had strategic plans that had been crafted based on the current revenue allocations and any drop in the allocations would occasion harm to the targeted development.
“We have master-plans that go up to 2030. In all this processes we factored resource allocation. How do we move with reduced budgets?" asked Joho.
Joho said his county was getting Sh7 billion but in the proposed plan the amount would be slashed by Sh1 billion. He vowed not to let that happen.
He wondered why his county suffered yet Nairobi, a city just like Mombasa, had an allocation of Sh17 billion under the same formula.
"We will do all we can politically and legally so that the revenues are increased and not reduced,” he said.
The governors were supported by Mombasa Senator Mohamed Faki, who promised to rally his counterparts in Parliament to reject the discriminating formula.
“The formula will marginalise Coast counties. We will not accept it because it will affect development negatively," said Mr Faki.
"Poor Counties will be denied money to progress while rich ones will be added more to prosper."
In the new proposal, CRA recommends that counties be allocated funds depending on how they utilise the same.
This means counties with a higher service delivery index will draw more resources from the exchequer, as the Government tightens the noose on wasteful counties.
Service delivery in counties will account for 69 per cent of how much each would be allocated and not population size as was the case before.
The development component takes 26 per cent while revenue and efficiency component takes five per cent.
The proposals, according to CRA, are aimed at scaling up service provision at the grassroots, where devolved units have been accused of blowing up billions on wages and non-essential activities.
Counties that will pump more resources into development projects will have their revenue increased in subsequent years.