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End revenue stalemate to forestall crippling county operations, city MCAs urge

By Josphat Thiong'o | August 18th 2020 at 11:28:36 GMT +0300

The Nairobi County Assembly is now calling on the Senate to resolve the revenue sharing formula stalemate, saying that county operations risk grinding to a halt if it persists.

For a record ninth time, the Senate on Monday failed to make a decision on the controversial third basis of sharing revenue among counties.

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The leadership at the city assembly has now urged the Senators to do away with the grandstanding and find an amicable solution, since the standoff was hurting operations at county level given that counties are cash-strapped.

"The revenue sharing formula is not cast in stone and an amicable solution that ensures that no county is left behind in development should be reached. The assembly urges the senate to fast track the passage of the formula to enable counties roll out their budgets for the 2020/2021 financial year," said Assembly Majority leader Abdi Hassan.

The MCAs pledged their support for the CRA formula which would see 19 counties lose billions of shillings. They defended their stance saying that Nairobi has the highest poverty index in the country and that the formula would ensure that more people in the capital benefit.  

"We cannot say that we will support Nairobi losing money just so that another county can benefit while our people suffer. We support the CRA formula a hundred per cent for the benefit of the people of Nairobi," added the majority leader.

"Mandera and other ASAL counties have the equalisation fund which will mitigate the gap created through implementation of the new revenue formula," Abdi went on.

Hospital Ward MCA Patrick Musili said that the CRA revenue sharing formula would ensure provision of funds which would be used in entrenching development across all the 85 wards in Nairobi.

"As MCAs there are promises that we made to our constituents in terms of development and the CRA formula is the one that will provide funding so that we can implement those development projects," he stated.

The ward legislators further hit out at Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja, accusing him of not putting the interest of Nairobians first, after he proposed a revenue formula that would see Nairobi County lose millions.

In his revenue sharing proposal, Sakaja wants the third basis formula applied to allocations above Sh316.5 billion, which is the entire allocation to the 47 devolved units in this financial year, as the base.

He had wanted the counties to share the money in the same way they shared in the last financial year.

Assembly Majority Chief Whip Paul Kados took a swipe at the senator saying that his utterances that there was no poverty in Nairobi were misleading.

"There is no single time that Sakaja has sat with us as MCAs and allowed us to tell him about the issues affecting us.  Who did he consult before saying that there is no poverty in Nairobi. He is acting on the interests of other people but not Nairobians who elected him," said Kados.

MCA John Kamangu called on Sakaja to put aside any personal differences or opinions he may have about the bill and push for the agenda that will benefit Nairobi residents.

"It is very unfortunate that we have a senator from Nairobi voting against Nairobi. It’s like a father denying his children food. We expected Sakaja to support the government agenda but he’s against it. Nairobians are suffering because of Sakaja and we are urging him to support the agenda of Nairobians," said Kamangu.

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