NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 18 – Orange Democratic Movement Party leader Raila Odinga now says focus should now shift to the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI), since the counties revenue standoff has been resolved.
Odinga said it is time the country started a debate on wealth creation, so as to enable fair and equal chances for Kenyans to participate in National Wealth creation.
“Unless this is done and particularly with rapidly growing educated youth population, we will have more vicious fights as we strive to share poverty rather than prosperity,” Odinga said.
Senators voted Thursday, for the third basis revenue sharing formula for county funds, after several failed attempts.
Odinga has lauded the move, saying some of the challenges that led to the delay will be addressed by the Building Bridges Initiative which he is championing with President Uhuru Kenyatta, and which is getting opposition from his Deputy William Ruto and leaders loyal to him.
Odinga has urged Kenyans to support the document once subjected to a national referendum.
Odinga further urged Kenyans to recommit to fighting corruption at the National and County governments and ensure more functions and funds are devolved.
“We must also have in place a robust mechanism for punishing and getting rid of cartels and syndicate that promote corruption and plunder in our national and county governments,” Odinga stated.
The committee which brokered the deal in the Senate was co-chaired by Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja and his Bungoma counterpart Moses Wetangula.
The Counties will now receive the same shareable revenue that they received in 2019-2020 financial year and receive the additional revenue starting 2021-2022 financial year.
The new formula will now see counties receive a total of Sh.370 billion for the next 5 years before it is repealed
Already, Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani has announced that county governments will receive Sh60 billion by Monday after Senators reached a consensus on the third basis formula for revenue allocation.
Yatani said this is part of their Sh.316.5 billion revenue for the 2020-2021 financial year.
“I want to assure Kenyans that we will disburse that money latest Monday. It has been here for the last 2 months and we have already finalized all the internal arrangements within the treasury. The funds are ready and we are only waiting for the presidential assent possibly by today,” said Yatani.
He explained that the law did not allow him to disburse money from the consolidated fund until the Senators had agreed.
“Treasury cannot give the money without the authority of the two Houses. It is not possible. Funds from a consolidated fund cannot be disbursed in absence of any written law either appropriation or direct charge of the consolidated fund but that is now behind us,” Yatani said.