Uhuru to Governors on county funds; ‘I don’t have money, use what you have’
- The President waded in to the Division of Revenue Bill 2019 debate telling governors to use the money available adding that they won't see a coin more from the national government.
- Last week, governors filed an application seeking an advisory from the Supreme Court on failure by Parliament to pass the Bill which they said has starved counties of funds.
- Attempts at mediation failed after the National Assembly and Senate failed to agree on how much the counties should get.
The Council of Governor’s push for more allocation of resources to the counties by the government has suffered a major setback after President Uhuru Kenyatta said he will not give them a shilling more.
The President waded in to the Division of Revenue Bill debate telling governors to use the money available adding that they won’t see a coin more from the national government.
“Huwezi kukula ile ambaye hujapanda. Tunataka county zetu zifanye kazi lakini ukienda uitishe pesa ambaye haiko itatoka wapi?” posed Mr. Kenyatta. (You can’t eat what you haven’t sowed. We want our counties to work but if you go and ask money that is not available, where will it come from?)
“We have given them what we have and what we know we can find.”
The Head of State, speaking at Kirwara Boys High School, Gatanga during the burial of former area MP Peter Kenneth’s mother Rahab Wambui, asked anyone campaigning to give counties more money to do that on their own.
“Kama Bunge ama Seneti wanasema waongezwe pesa, sawa sawa, kateni mishahara yenu fanya yale mengine mpatie county pesa, mimi sina hiyo pesa,” he said. (If National Assembly or the Senate want them to get more money, OK, take a pay cut and give to the counties, I don’t have money.)
Governors have accused the National Treasury of ignoring the Commission of Revenue Allocation’s recommendations on the sharing of revenue between the national government and the devolved units.
Last week, governors filed an application seeking an advisory from the Supreme Court on failure by Parliament to pass the Bill which they said has starved counties of funds.
Chief Justice David Maraga was however reluctant to hear application asking the parties to dialogue to help unlock the stalemate.
“We are reluctant to hear this case since it is legislative process. But we will hear it if we must,” said Maraga.
The bill collapsed following disagreements between the National Assembly and the Senate. The National Assembly wanted counties allocated Sh310 billion while the Senate insisted on Sh335 billion.
On Wednesday, the Senate passed their version and settled on Ksh.335 billion as the equitable shareable revenue for counties in the 2019/20 financial year.
The National Assembly on its part introduced a similar bill with a proposal to allocate Ksh.316 billion as funds for counties, 6 billion more than their earlier proposal.
The NA representatives in the mediation committee agreed on Ksh.316 billion but the Senate disagreed settling for Ksh.327 billion but later pulled an about turn and passed the Ksh.335 billion which had been recommended by the Commission on Revenue Allocation (CRA).
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