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Yatani, Governors meet Senate panel over delayed county disbursements

This follows a directive by Deputy Speaker Kithure Kindiki requiring them to appear before the Senate’s Finance and Budget Committee to discuss ways of resolving the cash crisis in devolved units/FILE

NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 13 – Acting National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani, Council of Governors Chairman Wycliffe Oparanya, Controller of Budget Agnes Odhiambo, Attorney General Kihara Kariuki are expected before the Senate to deliberate on administrative options for financing county governments awaiting passage of this year’s Division of Revenue Bill. 

This follows a directive by Deputy Speaker Kithure Kindiki requiring them to appear before the Senate’s Finance and Budget Committee to discuss ways of resolving the cash crisis in devolved units.

“I direct that the meeting should not adjourn until all those officials of State and our Committee of this House on Budget and Finance provide a solution for the Republic of Kenya on this matter,” he stated.

The Committee chairman Mohamed Mohammad had sought the Speaker’s guidance over the matter saying that service delivery at the 47 counties had been hampered by the lack of cash flow as a result of a stalemate between the two Houses of Parliament.

Kindiki further hinted that the Senate which is slated to break for a month-long recess today might have to recalled for a special sitting to adopt resolutions from Tuesday’s meeting.

“…because the special sitting has a specific agenda, it must also provide all the necessary resolutions that are required to protect any officer or public office that may be required to use administrative measures to unlock the stalemate to ensure that counties start receiving monies before the end of this month.”

“There might be need to make some resolutions to allow, for example, the Controller of Budget to take certain measures so that she is covered or rather that whoever wants to take action against her is prohibited from doing so by the resolution of the House,” he said as he reminded the Committee on Finance and Budget that the country is looking up to them to unlock this stalemate.

He gave the directive last Thursday after the National Assembly rejected the amendments the Senate had made to the re-published revenue sharing bill.

Senators increased the minimum amount available to the counties from Sh316 billion to Sh335 billion thus trigger the need for formation of a joint House mediation committee to try and negotiate an amicable figure.

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