Clash of egos to blame for failure of revenue legislation
SEE ALSO :Ouko downplays Treasury job talkIn this instance, there was a great divide between the protectionist ideology of the Trump administration weighed against the globalisation norm established by Obama and Bush administrations. The obvious ideological differences spilt over when Trump insisted on resources to effectively lock out immigrants from Mexico and other neighbouring countries. He soon found himself on a lonely corner as the house battled to maintain the status quo. In many instances, these ideological convictions permeate party boundaries and topple all political loyalties. At the same time in March, Parliament began the process of enacting the Division of Revenue Bill, a legislation that distributes resources between the national government and the devolved units. The Senate and the National Assembly failed to agree on what needs to go to the counties with the Parliament recommending 310 billion and the Senate proposing 417 billion. Four months later, after many attempts at compromise, the bill is yet to pass.
Anti-devolutionistsTo these, devolution breaks the old structures and delivers systematic change. The anti-devolutionists, however, want to maintain the status quo. Government procurement is big business. Devolving functions means that a few individuals will not get the tenders they are accustomed to by bribing a few government officials. To supply medical equipment, one has to get the support of 47 governors. To them, this change is most regressive and they would like a return to the good old days. Additionally, when resource allocation is depoliticised, it means the presidency is an empty shell and the visit by the Head of State in one area of the country means nothing. They want to maintain the status quo where the president comes with handouts and goodies and he launches much-desired projects. As was the case in the US, ideological differences supersede party and tribal loyalties. This is why the Jubilee administration which has successfully emasculated Parliament, has failed to sway the MPs its way. The Uhuru government has unashamedly taken the stance of anti-devolution, reducing the allocation to counties every year, with this year, the amount getting to only 11.4 per cent of the total budget. Additionally, governors have continually complained of delayed disbursement of funds and blatant usurping of county government duties by the national government in defiance of the law. To date, one wonders why the State insists on procuring dialysis machines for hospitals under the management of counties or why technical and vocational education and Training training fund is being administered by the State. Like Trump, Uhuru is working against the tide of change in trying to re-introduce an archaic idea. The failure to enact the Division of Revenue Bill is a symptom of an ideological tug of war in government. -The writer is the CEO of Elim Capital Ltd
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