, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 12 – The Commission on Revenue Allocation and the Controller of Budget have two weeks to provide Senators with a harmonized framework geared towards promoting equitable and decentralized development through a uniform development kitty for each ward.
This comes after a meeting with the Senate Committee on Finance and Budget which mandated the two monetary allocation independent agencies to carry out work before a breakfast meeting with Senators slated for August 1.
Committee Chairman Mohammed Mohamud (Mandera) explained they chose to go that route in order to get an expert and non-partisan opinion on the matter which has already sparked a row between the National and County Government representatives following Murang’a Senator Irungu Kang’ata’s push for the controversial County Wards Development Equalization Bill.
“We called you because you are the experts in this field. We want to engage the Senate through a breakfast meeting so we can sensitize them on the reworked provisions of the bill and needs to be done to achieve it.”
“The Bill should provide a framework for development in the counties. It should be prescriptive and not descriptive in its implementation,” he noted.
Senators Mutula Kilonzo Jnr (Makueni) and Moses Wetangula (Bungoma) urged the joint agencies to advice on how the proposed Sh30 million framework will address challenges of skewed development at the county level in favour of some wards and to the detriment of others.
“The establishment of this fund should not carry attendant costs to the County Treasury. We think the projects should be identified within the philosophy of public participation at the ward, then those projects should be tendered for by the people at the ward, then the execution of the project will be done by the experts at the County Government or those second to the County by the National Government. That way the ward will achieve the desired development and the money will be protected from theft,” Wetangula noted.
Kilonzo Jnr cited the inconsistencies in allocation across various counties for instance his home county of Makueni allocates Sh33 million, Kirinyaga County gives Sh10 million while Nakuru County sets aside Sh35million.
“The main issue the committee had with Kang’ata Bill is in the pegging the allocation percentage at 8per cent. If we put a figure we will be attempting to micromanage its use. What we want is a policy that will then be implemented by the County Assemblies,” the Minority Whip said.
CRA Secretary George Ooko said they will also be looking into how allocations for essential services and specific projects can be ring-fenced.
“The county planning and budgeting process is in the Constitution and it emphasizes the fact that they executive is the one that should always be implementing those development in the wards. The Assembly must always continue to legislate and oversight, so there should be no question of the MCA getting involved in the implementation,” said the CRA official.