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Rift widens over counties revenue sharing formula

By Rawlings Otieno | August 8th 2020 at 12:00:00 GMT +0300

Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen (right), Narok Senator Ledama ole Kina (centre) and Mandera Senator Mahamud Mohammed after addressing the Press in Nairobi yesterday. [Jenipher Wachie]

The revenue sharing formula stalemate has deepened with two opposing sides drifting further apart and with no signs of consensus in the horizon.

While Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja led ‘Team Kenya’ in support of an amendment that will see the baseline for revenue sharing among counties reduced to between Sh250 billion and Sh270 billion, the other faction insists that a consensus can only be arrived at through a mediation committee.

The faction, which styles itself as ‘Team Kenya’ is now supporting Meru Senator Mithika Linturi’s proposal to amend Sakaja’s proposal. The other faction that supports ‘one man, one vote, one shilling’ mantra accused the former of failing to second names to a yet-to-be-established mediation committee to be chaired by Deputy Speaker Margaret Kamar (Uasin Gishu).

Sakaja, in his amendment to the Senate Finance report on revenue sharing, had proposed that the baseline for the counties allocation be retained as in the 2019-20 financial year to be Sh316.5 billion and any other amount over and above that, the parameters as set out in the report, should be applied.

Finance report

‘Team Kenya’ which defeated Senate Majority Whip Irungu Kang’ata (Murang’a) amendments last week has now thrown its weight behind Linturi in a bid to soften their hardline stance ahead of Tuesday vote. According to Sakaja’s proposal, parameters like population at 18 per cent, health (17), agriculture (10), urban (5), poverty (14), land area (8), fiscal effort (1), roads (6), prudence (1) and basic share (20) should be applied.

Yesterday, senators Kipchumba Murkomen (Elgeyo Marakwet), Ledama ole Kina (Narok), Mahamud Mohammed (Mandera), Ibrahim Ali (Wajir), Charles Ekal (Turkana) and Agnes Zani (nominated) at a press briefing in Nairobi, rooted for Linturi’s amendments.

Murkomen disclosed that they have mandated Linturi to burn the midnight oil together with Sakaja to harmonise the document even as they plan a spirited fight to pass the amendment when the House resumes on Tuesday.

The former majority whip argued that by lowering the baseline, no county will gain billions at the extent of others losing money.

However, another team led by Samson Cherargei (Nandi), Susan Kihika (Nakuru), Michael Mbitho (Trans Nzoia), John Kinyua (Laikipia), Naomi Shiyonga, Gertrude Musuruve and Isaac Mwaura, all nominated, took a swipe at their colleague’s refusal to second names to the mediation committee.

The team insisted there is no compromise on the issue and accused their colleagues of acting in bad faith.

Senators have already planned a ‘Kamkunji’ (informal meeting) on Monday to agree before they take a vote on Tuesday.

Senators Johnson Sakaja Kipchumba Murkomen Revenue Sharing Formula
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