Governor Mutua wants Duale removed from division of revenue talks

Governor Mutua wants Duale removed from division of revenue talks
Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua at a press conference on August 21, 2019. PHOTO| COURTESY

Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua now wants National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale to recuse himself from the on-going mediation talks between the National Assembly and the Senate over the Division of Revenue Bill.

Mutua says Duale has publicly declared his hard-line positions over the revenue row, hence, his presence in the talks would stoke more division.

“We have noticed, and it is in the public domain, that National Assembly Leader Aden Duale has taken hard-line positions and publicly declared his stance. We respect him but feel that as the Majority leader, the negotiations are not at his stage yet. His presence is not helping but perpetuating differences as Kenyans suffer and die,” Dr Mutua said at a press conference in Machakos Wednesday afternoon.

Mutua says National Assembly Speaker, Justin Muturi should find a replacement for Duale in the National Assembly’s negotiating team.

“We request the Speaker (Muturi) to find a replacement for Duale so that the National Assembly Majority leader can concentrate on other important national and parliamentary business the way the Senate Majority leader is doing,” said Mutua.

The governor noted that an urgent solution and consensus is needed in the ongoing revenue row, urging the teams involved in the negotiations to cede ground and find an amicable solution to the impasse for the sake of Kenyans.

“It is not just about who gets what but about the livelihood and indeed the lives of children, youth, mothers and fathers of this country who are languishing in poverty. Successful mediation and negotiations are about flexibility, looking at the big picture and an attitude that allows give and take,” he said.

The revenue stand-off between the Senate and the National Assembly has paralyzed operations in counties leading to the collapse of delivery of essential services and delays in disbursement of salaries for county workers.

Mutua noted that every single day that passes without a solution to the revenue stalemate, results to more poverty in the country, thus undermining President Uhuru Kenyatta’s development agenda.

On Tuesday, the two chambers of parliament locked horns in a mediation committee sitting, with hardline stances forcing the session’s adjournment to Wednesday next week.

National Assembly representatives in the committee want the Senate to endorse the Ksh.316.5 billion -proposed allocation to counties, with a promise for an increase in a supplementary budget early next year, should the country’s economic situation improve.

But senators have stuck to Ksh.335.6 billion, demanding re-allocation of billions of shillings from the health ministry to devolved units.

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Story By Enock Muswii
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