, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 15 – The Council of Governors (C0G) has filed a petition at the Supreme Court over the ongoing stalement over division of revenue between the national government and 47 county governments.
Led by CoG Chairperson Wycliffe Oparanya (Kakamega) and Vice Chairperson Mwangi wa Iria (Murang’a), the county chiefs staged a march from a city hotel to the Supreme Court where they filed the petition on Monday.
Oparanya, who was accompanied by Governors Kivutha Kibwana (Makueni), Ndiritu Muriithi (Laikipia), Martin Wambora (Embu), Amason Kingi (Kilifi) and James Ongwae (Kisii) said the court registrar had slated the matter for mention on July 19.
“Very few counties have passed their budgets and quite a number have not passed their budgets because of this issue of division of revenue as they don’t know a figure to work with and it’s because of this frustration that we had to get redress from the Supreme Court,” said Oparanya.
The National Assembly had proposed an allocation of Sh310 billion with the Senate and CoG seeking Sh335 billion.
Mediation efforts led by Deputy President William Ruto have failed.
Kisumu Governor Prof Anyang Nyong’o who was among governors at the Supreme Court on Monday faulted the National Assembly for being inconsiderate.
“The functions assigned to the counties government are the functions which concern the common man and woman most,” he said when he addressed worshipers on Sunday at Nyabondo Catholic Church.
Nyong’o said county government operations including water, agriculture, environment, health and road development have all stalled over lack of funding for the 2019/20 financial year.
He said the public should not be stifled off funds due to the raging war between the National Assembly and the Senate.
Nyong’o said the Division of Revenue Bill should be passed as a matter of urgency to pull out counties from the quagmire.
“The demands for the people are increasing everyday due to the increase in population, let us get this Sh. 335 billion to the counties,” he said.
The Kisumu Governor said it is unconstitutional to pass the national budget without agreeing upon the division of revenue Bill.
Nyong’o also pleaded with the Kisumu County Assembly to speedily pass the budget for the financial year 2019/2020.
He said negotiations between the executive and the Assembly are in an advanced stage and the county budget will soon be tabled.
“We cannot have work being done without resources, I am appealing to county Assembly, if you pass this budget we will continue with work,” he said.
Additional reporting by Ojwang Joe from Kisumu