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Tolgos, Mandago urge senators to support CRA revenue-sharing formula

By Japheth Ogila | July 28th 2020
Senate is expected to go into session to discuss revenue allocation formula on Tuesday. [File, Standard]

Uasin Gishu Governor Jackson Mandago and his Elgeyo Marakwet counterpart Alex Tolgos have urged the senators to pass the population-based revenue allocation formula currently recommended by the Commission for Revenue Allocation (CRA).

Speaking to the media on Tuesday morning, the duo said the formula would benefit counties that have been cash-starved and do not merit to get the buffer from the Equalization Fund.

“At least those counties who [sic] have been suffering have gotten something to cushion them…and we are asking our colleagues who are losing to pursue the negotiation with the national government,” said Tolgos.

Tolgos said that the formula would be of a great boost to counties that have pursued revenue increase but have seen their efforts defeated. He urged his area senator Kipchumba Murkomen to rally behind the course and ensure that the bill effecting the formula is passed later today.

“We expect the National Assembly and the Senate to use the Equalization Fund to compensate those counties,” said Mandago.

He warned senators against politicising the issue claiming that some legislators were opposing the formula, despite their counties receiving revenue increase just to frustrate their area governors.

“If you have a personal difference with the governor, I want to remind you that the money that goes to that county does not go to the bank account of the governor. The money is meant for the people of that county and for service delivery,” he said.

The sentiments come just before the senators take to the floor to vote on the contentious Revenue Allocation Bill which has sowed division among Jubilee and ODM lawmakers.

Murang’a Senator Irungu Kangata warned ODM against opposing the population-based bill saying it could force the Jubilee side to backtrack on supporting BBI. Jubilee is fronting a formula which will see more populous counties get more funds and less populous counties docked revenue.

But ODM legislators and their colleagues from Wiper and ANC are fronting for amendments on the bill to ensure that no county has its revenue slashed.

On Monday, ODM leader Raila Odinga broke his silence to support the recommendations of the CRA urging lawmakers to put the matter to rest.

“Under the circumstances, the country and our people would be better served if we adopted the recommendation of the CRA for the next five years,” he said.

This was after Deputy President William Ruto had posted on Twitter that the legislature should be entrusted to produce an agreeable result in the House.

“The legislature must as per its mandate structure a win-win formula that is sensitive to proposals made without hurting any county. Inawezakana,” the DP tweeted.

Ahead of the crucial voting is the confidence from the Jubilee side that the CRA report will sail through owing to their numbers.

 “We already have 29 senators and we only need 24, we had caucus meetings at Panafric yesterday and we are confident on the numbers,” said Samson Cherragei, Nandi Senator.

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