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MPs in the National Assembly. Photo/CFM-FILE.

Kenya

National Assembly now want Senate out of Counties Revenue share debate in future

NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 6- A new National Assembly and Senate face-off is looming over who should be the final decision maker on the crucial responsibilities of the Division of Revenue at the Counties.

The country is yet to recover from a protracted battle among different factions of the Senate- who eventually settled on a compromised revenue sharing formula that saw no county lose a penny.

On Tuesday, Members of the National Assembly blamed their Senate counterparts for the financial crisis experienced at the counties saying they played politics for too long before they agreed on the County Revenue Formula.

While supporting the Bill by the Budget and Appropriation Committee that maintained that Counties should receive Sh316.5 billion, House Majority Leader Amos Kimunya and Kiminini Member of Parliament Chris Wamalwa want the Division of Revenue to be determined solely by the National Assembly.  

“We need a legislative proposal to provide the framework in terms of operationalization. Let the Division of Revenue be a responsibility of this House and Senate concentrate on the interests of the Counties. Once they concentrate on their core business and we concentrate on ours, then delays will be gone,” Wamalwa said.

According to Kimunya, the National  Assembly is best suited to deal with money matters and the senate should not be involved, pointing out that they have proved that they can easily put service delivery in Counties at a standstill.

“All money matters should be brought to this House because I remember we passed a Bill here that allowed Counties to receive at least some percentage of the total money as the Senate deliberates on the formula to avoid a crisis at the Counties and we took it to our colleagues and until today, it is lying there. It has not been acted upon,” Kimunya said.  

Garissa Township Member of Parliament Aden Duale and his Suba South counterpart John Mbadi said Senate must put their political differences aside to avoid halting service delivery at the Counties.

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“I am happy that the Committee still maintains that the Counties should receive the 316.5 billion shillings that we had agreed on and so, the other Sh56 billion the Senate has been talking about was just political gimmicks,” Duale said.

County workers have not received their salaries for several months now due to the confusion on the division of revenue. 

On September 17, the Senate resolved the Counties revenue impasse after Senators unanimously voted in support of the third basis formula for funds allocation after 10 failed attempts but Counties are yet to receive the funds because the Bill has to be assented to by President Uhuru Kenyatta after the two Houses are in agreement.

In the formula that will now be used to disburse Sh316.5 billion to the counties, no county will receive less than what they received in the year 2019-2020 financial year.

The Bill passed by the Senate took into account eight parameters including Basic share at 20 percent, Population 18 percent, Health 17 percent, Poverty Level 14 percent, Agriculture,10 percent, Roads 8 percent, Land 8 percent, and Urban 5 percent.

The formula further indicated that counties should receive Sh370 billion starting 2021-2022 to 2024, a proposal that the National Assembly members termed as a political strategy.

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