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Twists and turns as senators make hard decision

By Rawlings Otieno | Jul 29th 2020 | 3 min read
Senators were last evening poised to settle the matter of the controversial third basis of revenue formula for allocation to the counties.

Senators were last evening poised to settle the matter of the controversial third basis of revenue formula for allocation to the counties one way or the other, amid hard bargains and tough compromises.

A spirited bid by Senate Minority Leader James Orengo (Siaya) and his Bungoma counterpart Moses Wetang’ula to adjourn the motion for the umpteenth time to seek further consensus, did not gain favour with Senators.

The motion was defeated, with Senators arguing that the discussion and consensus had been built over the years and it was time to take a decision - one way or the other.

Senate Finance Committee Chair Senator Charles Kibiru (Kirinyaga) moved the committee motion and urged the Senators to support it, citing that much consensus had been built.

While moving the motion, Kibiru said the health service index which has been weighted at 17 per cent would be determined by the health facility gap 20 per cent, three years average number of primary healthcare visits to level II and III health facilities (60) and three years average in-patient in levels IV and V hospitals at 20 per cent respectively.

“The committee considered all the submission from stakeholders and notes that the parameters used in revenue sharing basis are an allocation framework tool and not an indicative budgets nor guidelines as to how county assemblies should draw government budget,” said Kibiru.

More amendments

“The committee recommends that the Senate adopts the third basis for sharing revenue among counties with health services at 20 per cent, agriculture (12), other services (16), minimum share (20), land (5), roads (7), poverty (14), urban service (4), fiscal effort (1) and fiscal prudence (1) per cent respectively.”

According to Kibiru, the commencement date would be deferred to the 2021-2022 financial year.

But Irungu Kang’ata (Muranga) moved a further amendment that the report on the criteria for allocating money among the counties for financial years 2020/2021 to 2024/2025 will commence in the 2022/2023 year.

“The criteria applied to allocate, among the counties, the share of national revenue for the financial year 2019/2020 will continue to apply until the commencement of the criteria,” said Kangata.

His proposal was supported by Senators Njeru Ndwiga (Embu), Ochillo Ayacko (Migori), Mithika Linturi (Meru), Moses Kajwang’ (Homa Bay) and Samson Cherargei (Nandi).

Earlier on Cleophas Malala (Kakamega) had requested the House to adjourn for 20 minutes to read the contents of Kang ‘ata’s proposed amendments to the report.

According to Malala, the amendment were introduced too late for senators to be conversant with the contents. “Time has come that a decision has to be made. I second amendment by Senator Kang’ata. Some of the formulas and simulations, if adopted, would have led to some counties losing more than a billion overnight,” said Kajwang’.

Dullo while opposing the motion, sai: “How do we feel as counties that have been marginalized for years. When you reduce land parameter and give money to population, you make our mothers walk for many kilometers to look for water. In other words you are killing our mothers. We don’t care let the BBI collapse. We must understand the dynamics of this formula,” said Dullo.

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