‘Let the country move forward,’ Raila hits at Senate over revenue formula standoff
Published on: July 27, 2020 02:32 (EAT)
ODM Party leader Raila Odinga has weighed in on the county revenue-sharing formula standoff asking the Senate to pass the recommendation by the Commission for Revenue Allocation (CRA) and allow the country to move forward. Odinga says the current stalemate is causing paralysis and mistrust at a time the country needs to be united and focused on tackling the COVID-19 pandemic currently threatening lives and livelihoods. He also points out the debate over the revenue-sharing formula has taken “a dangerous ethnic undertone instead of being a level-headed debate on the nation’s development trajectory.” Odinga says the concerns currently being raised by Senators opposing the proposed revenue formulae should instead be forwarded to the CRA for consideration in its future recommendation. “The Senate should now allow the country move forward by adopting the CRA report while using the concerns voiced for future recommendations on revenue sharing,” said the ODM leader in a statement on Monday. “In order to avoid a similar stand-off next time, the concerns currently arising should be forwarded to the CRA for consideration in its future recommendation.” Odinga maintains that the resources currently being recommended by CRA can adequately serve counties if corruption is eliminated by heaving punishing those who perpetuate plundering of public funds. He further recommends that “we must also focus on encouraging counties to raise own source revenues from the economic activities within the county and demanding a prudent usage of those resources.” The Senate has for five times now failed to agree on the proposed revenue-sharing formulae due to strong differences among the Senators. The formula by Senate Finance Committee chaired by Kirinyaga Senator Charles Kibiru, if adopted, will slash allocation to 18 counties and increase the share for 29 counties. The committee however recommends that the formula applies from the 2021/2022 Financial Year, and is predicated on an increase in the amount of devolved resources to at least 35%, as proposed in the BBI draft report. The proposal has split the house, and defied the political environment in the house after the March 2018 handshake between President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga. If the formula was applied, Nandi, Uasin Gishu, Nakuru, Kakamega and Kiambu counties would be the biggest beneficiaries, with an increased allocation of between Ksh.986 million and Ksh.1.4 billion, Bungoma, Kirinyaga, West Pokot, Baringo and Bomet Counties would each get an extra financial muscle of between Ksh.673 million and Ksh.837 million Siaya, Busia, Migori, Meru and Laikipia also make it to the list of top 15 counties that stand to gain. Senators from the 18 counties that are likely to lose have contested the formula. Wajir, Mandera, Marsabit, Tana River and Garissa counties would be the biggest losers should the formula sail through on Tuesday. Mombasa, Kwale, Narok, Isiolo and Kilifi could lose between Ksh.878 million and Ksh.1.02 billion if the committee revenue sharing proposal is approved. Turkana, Nyamira, Taita Taveta, Tharaka Nithi will have their allocation slashed by at least Ksh.367 million, while Vihiga, Makueni, Samburu and Kitui will lose between Ksh.219 million and Ksh.361 million.