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The Senate of Kenya during a past session.

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Senate adjourns for record seventh time as revenue formula debate stalls

NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 4 – 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 Senator Kipchumba Murkomen.

Elgeyo Marakwet Senator 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 favour of the motion while twenty-six voted against. Busia Senator Amos Wako registered an abstention.

“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 urged.

“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.

On his part, Faki, Vihiga Senator George Khaniri and Moses Wetangula who seconded the motion deemed the formula to be divisive and skewed to disenfranchising marginalized counties even further. 

“When we sing the national anthem we say “Justice be our shield and a defender” what is this justice? When we talk about justice, is it right for 19 counties to lose money because while another 28 are gaining in allocations,” said Faki.

“We think that people should sit down and reason and come up with a formula that will be acceptable to all,” Khaniri added.

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

Senate Majority Whip Irungu Kang’ata led Senators Samson Cherargei, Kimani Wamatangi in opposing the motion to adjourn debate.

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“If we adjourn 100 times, we will never be able to arrive at a solution. Continuing with the debate does not mean that anyone who debates is ignorant or not sensitive to the fact that we need solutions in this country,” Wamatangi said.

Leader of Majority Samuel Poghisio and Leader of Minority James Orengo requested the Speaker to allow for the debate to be resumed on Tuesday.

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