Stalemate over? Senate throws in the towel, agrees on Ksh.316B for counties


Stalemate over? Senate throws in the towel, agrees on Ksh.316B for counties

It was relief on Thursday after the Senate agreed on the proposed Ksh.316.5 billion allocation to county governments.

The move may have finally ended the stalemate over the much debated Division of Revenue Bill.

“We have made the painful decision to advice our negotiators to agree on the Ksh.316 billion. We take solace in the fact that sometimes to win the war, one must be prepared to yield some battles,” said Senate Majority Leader Kipchumba Murkomen.

This comes after a lengthy push and pull between the Senate and the National Assembly over the amount of money that should be disbursed to the counties.

The National Assembly has stuck to a Ksh.316.5 billion allocation to counties while the Senate insisted that the devolved units be given Ksh.335.6 billion.

“The National Assembly is not concerned that counties may grind to a halt and the citizenry misses out on basic services. We will not be part of that,” said Murkomen.

Last week, Council of Governors Chairman Wycliffe Oparanya said county governments are cash-strapped and will have no option but to shut down if the ongoing revenue row is not resolved within the next two weeks.

On August 20, 2019, President Uhuru Kenyatta called on both Houses to end the stalemate to allow the release of funds to counties.

While noting that the Government does not have unlimited resources, President Kenyatta insisted that what the National Government has been allocating to counties was actually much higher than the threshold set by the Constitution.

“The Constitution says we give a minimum of 15 per cent to counties. Within one year I took it to over 30 per cent,” said the President as he called on modesty and honesty in demands for more allocations for counties.

“Why can you not pass the Bill so that people can get services. Reach an agreement so that we can release funds to counties,” said the President.

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