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The Senate during a past session. /CFM-FILE.

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Kenya Human Rights Commission roots for equitable share of Counties’ Revenue

NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 8 – The Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC) has waded into the raging debate on counties’ revenue formula, saying it should be shared equitably.

The Commission’s Programs Manager Diana Gichengo said revenue should be shared equitably regardless of the population in order to ensure development across the country.

“One man one shilling is a way of trying to dishonestly entice people by showing them that they have a stake to benefit from the formula. The Consolidated Fund of Kenyan money must be divided equitably factoring in population, issues of marginalization and the land space among other factors,” Gichengo said at a news conference.

She further accused those supporting one man-one vote-one shilling formula of using the proposal to entice Kenyans to support the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) without considering the counties set to lose money if that formula was used.

“When Kenya will be equally developed, then we can adopt the one man one shilling formula but even then there would be many factors to consider. So, we are worried that those pushing this formula are out to dupe Kenyans into accepting the Building Bridges Report and the proposed amendments that are supposed to erode the very good gains that were there in the Constitution,” she said.  

The Senate failed to approve the contentious third-generation basis formula on revenue sharing among counties for the seventh time on Tuesday after voting for an adjournment motion by Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen.

Murkomen and Mombasa Senator Mohammed Fakii made a fresh appeal for the Senate to adjourn to give dialogue another chance and arrive at a consensus where those who are losing by a huge margin may perhaps lose very little.

During the vote, thirty-four Senators voted in favor of the motion while twenty-six voted against. Busia Senator Amos Wako registered an abstention.

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“For us to appreciate this kind of conversation, I’m requesting my colleagues let’s give dialogue one more chance. Let’s adjourn this motion for us to have a conversation on how to find a way forward that can unite all of us,” Murkomen said.

“There’s an opportunity for all of us, as a Senate, to have a conversation on this subject matter and come to a conclusion where those who are losing by a huge margin may perhaps lose very little. We cannot close our eyes on the conversation that Mandera even though it has few people now, it’s because its potential has not been exploited,” he said.

At least 19 counties would have lost billions of shillings in budgetary allocations with Mandera county set to be the biggest casualty losing Sh2 billion.

Senators are on Tuesday next week set to sit for a record eighth time to debate the controversial formula amid a stand-off on how the Sh316 billion shareable revenue to counties.

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