NAIROBI, Kenya Aug 10 – Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja says the long-standing impasse surrounding the third basis revenue formula might be resolved tomorrow after legislators struck a deal.
Sakaja says he expects the ‘very innovative solution’ to attract ‘unanimous support’ from both sides of the argument.
“There might be a unanimous vote, that is what we are aiming for, that all of us move on the amendment to those proposals because everyone agrees in principle that it would not be fair for any county to lose between 18 percent to 30 percent of its budget,” he said, “we have found a very innovative solution that I am not mandated to let the cat out of the bag, but it will be a version of what I had brought.”
The Nairobi Senator told reporters that the deal was struck after a weekend-long meditation process between members of the Kenya Moja Movement and the One Man-One Vote-One Shilling grouping led by Majority Whip Irungu Kangata.
“I am confident that this stalemate will end tomorrow, there are certain amendments we have agreed on, to come on to my amendments tomorrow (Tuesday) and so Kenyans should have hope whether they are in Nakuru, Mandera, Nairobi or Migori.”
And for those who want further division, he said, “we want to tell them, it will not work this time. We won’t allow ourselves to be divided by this debate, we will finish it and we will continue to be friends. So expect to see light at the end of the tunnel.”
Sakaja is part of an axis of Senators who have been pushing for amendments to the formula to ensure no county loses.
The Nairobi Senator and his Elgeyo Marakwet counterpart Kipchumba Murkomen and Mithika Linturi of Meru led a group of Senators from the counties that were gaining in the formula arrangement to oppose the vote, claiming they were doing so in solidarity with the devolved units that were losing.
He maintains there was no party position on the matter, and that a party position would only be arrived at if members of a caucus debate an issue and agree or disagree but move on with collective responsibility.
“We are standing firm, those who had started intimidating members, have at least come down, because they have realized that there is no one to intimidate in the Senate. We are adults, with sound mind. It’s coming from a very honest place, it’s not about politics, or about the Tangatanga vs Kieleweke, it is about the people of Kenya and revenue for the People of Kenya,” the Nairobi Senator stated.
Sakaja’s amendment seeks to have the Senate retain the second generation formula to continue being operational on the third generation as well.
The stalemate has left the 47 devolved units facing an imminent cash crisis, threatening the delivery of crucial services.
If Sakaja’s amendment flops, the House will resume debate on the report of the Finance and Budget Committee that considered the formula as developed by the Commission of Revenue Allocation (CRA) which benefits counties with a large population and disadvantages those with huge landmass and smaller population.