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Pogishio may have been forced to move after President Uhuru Kenyatta gave him a three-day deadline to mobilize support for a new revenue sharing formula for counties/FILE

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Poghishio faces litmus test as Senate reconvenes over revenue sharing formula impasse

NAIROBI, Kenya Jul 11 – The Senate will hold another special sitting on Monday to give Senators another chance at approving the proposed formula developed by the Commission on Revenue Allocation that would enable county governments to share equitably the Sh316.5 billion allocated in the financial year 2020/21.

Senate Speaker Kenneth Lusaka recalled Senators after Senate Leader of Majority Samuel Poghisio wrote to him requesting a special sitting to consider and approve a report of the Standing Committee on Finance and Budget.

Without the sharing formula, the Sh316.5 billion allocated to counties in the current financial year cannot be shared among the 47 devolved units.

Article 217 (1) of the Constitution mandates the Senate to determine the formula once every five years.

Reports in a section of the media indicate that Pogishio may have been forced to move after President Uhuru Kenyatta gave him a three-day deadline to mobilize support for a new revenue sharing formula for counties.

The Head of State is said to be concerned with the continued failure by the Senate to obtain consensus on the matter, despite missing the constitutional deadline of June 30.

A special sitting convened by Lusaka last week to specifically approve the crucial money bill failed to do so after the lawmakers once again stalled in enacting the formula because the Standing Committee on Finance and Budget was yet to finalize its report.

Lusaka also called off an informal sitting to discuss a contentious formula that will determine how counties share the funds allocated in this year’s budget.

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At least 21 Senators drawn from the arid and semi-arid counties have protested the new proposed formula for revenue allocation among counties saying the proposed mechanism will disenfranchise and further marginalize their areas.

Ten Governors from frontier counties have also petitioned the national government government to shelve, for one year, the implementation of a new revenue sharing formula noting that the revenue cuts caused by the formula will hurt the counties.

The counties which include Garissa, Wajir, Marsabit, Isiolo, Samburu, Turkana, Tana River, West Pokot, Lamu and Mandera will collectively lose Sh17 billion as a result of the stringent measures outlined in the contested formula.

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