Uhuru meets Senate leadership at State House ahead of Tuesday's revenue sharing vote - Beaking Kenya News

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Tuesday, 15 September 2020

Uhuru meets Senate leadership at State House ahead of Tuesday's revenue sharing vote

 

The Senate House leadership is currently being hosted by President Uhuru Kenyatta at State House ahead of this afternoon's crucial vote on the third basis for revenue sharing among the 47 counties.

Those in the meeting include Speaker Kenneth Lusaka, Majority Leader Samuel Poghisio and his minority counterpart Senator James Orengo.

A showdown is expected as senators reconvene for a record tenth time on Tuesday to debate and vote on the contentious third basis for sharing county revenue.

The lawmakers head into the high-stakes sitting a divided house, even after Speaker Kenneth Lusaka postponed last week’s debate to allow for consensus building.

On Monday, they failed to hold an informal meeting (Kamukunji) as ordered by Lusaka to strike a balance ahead of Tuesday’s sitting.

Lusaka had ordered for the meeting to brief the senators on the resolution of the House leadership on the proposals fronted by a 12-member informal committee formed to strike a deal on the formula.

The committee had presented two contradicting reports to the leadership led by Majority leader Samuel Poghisio (West Pokot) and Minority leader James Orengo (Siaya).

The panel recommended to the leaders to consult President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga for further consensus-building.

On Monday, the speaker came under fire for failing to sanction the meeting, even as the two warring camps maintained their hardline stance, daring each other for a duel as they head into the sitting.

According to the proposals presented to the House leadership by the 12-member committee, the legislators are divided down the middle.

The first proposal fronted by ‘Team Kenya’ provides for an eight-parameter formula, with the biggest weight placed on basis share (20 per cent), health (18 per cent) a population (18 per cent) and agriculture (10 per cent).

The proposal scraps fiscal prudence and fiscal efforts as parameters for sharing revenue.

It recommends that Sh273 billion of the Sh316.5 billion allocated to the 47 counties in the budget be shared out equally.

It states that the remaining Sh53.5 billion be subjected to the parameters. It projects that in 2021-22, the Treasury would allocate the counties Sh325 billion, Sh331 billion in 2022-23 and Sh341 billion the next financial year.

The second proposal, on the other hand, which has received the backing of senators supporting the ‘One-man, One-shilling’ provides for 10 parameters.

It places the biggest weight on health (20 per cent) and basic share (20 per cent), population (16 per cent) and agriculture (12 per cent). Some 16 counties are losing more than Sh15 billion in this proposal.

However, in a policy brief seen by the Star last week, the Senate leadership has endorsed the second proposal albeit with a rider to defer its implementation by two years and cushion the ‘losing’ counties.

“The formula proposed by the Senate Finance committee be adopted as the new basis for allocating revenue to counties,” the brief reads in part.

It recommends that the formula be implemented in a phased manner to avoid disrupting county plans and budgets, and recommends a two-year moratorium.

In a bid to ensure revenue loses are minimised, the policy states if the proposal is adopted, no county should lose more than 10 per cent its previous allocations.

But Team Kenya has vowed to reject the decision, saying it cannot support a formula that takes away money from other counties.

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