Bill gives counties financial lifeline

Kikuyu MP Kimani Ichungwa with retired cleric Timothy Njoya. [George Njunge, Standard]

County governments have received a much-needed lifeline through a new Bill seeking the release of counties’ budgetary allocations for the 2019/2020 financial year.

This comes in the wake of a stalemate between the Senate and National Assembly over the Division of Revenue Bill 2019 that has threatened to ground operations in devolved units to a halt.

Parliament last week published the Public Finance Management (Amendment) Bill, 2019 directing the National Treasury to release the Sh310 billion equitable share even as the dispute between the two houses of Parliament rages on.

“The main objective of this Bill is to put in place interim measures to allow county governments to access their minimum share of revenue already guaranteed and granted to them by Article 206 (2) of the constitution,” explained the National Assembly Budget and Appropriations Committee Chairman Kimani Ichung'wah (pictured) in a memorandum accompanying the Bill.

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Last week, workers in several counties threatened to down their tools after delayed payment of the July salaries owing to the stalemate over the Division of Revenue Bill, 2019.

Kenya County Government Workers Union Secretary General Roba Duba said workers in devolved units, including doctors and nurses, would from today stay home until their respective governors pay up.

Some of the affected counties include Murang’a, Laikipia, Isiolo, Marsabit, Kitui, Meru, Tharaka Nithi, Bungoma and Kisumu. Others include Taita Taveta, Kericho, Elegeyo Marakwet, West Pokot, Nakuru, Baringo, and Samburu.

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