Day of drama as revenue formula quest extends into the night

The storm that has characterized the controversial Third Basis for sharing revenue among counties continued Monday with the Senate forced to extend business to allow for debate.

Senate Minority Leader James Orengo had sought to have a motion for the house to adjourn to allow for consensus building, just minutes after a proposal to postpone house business had suffered defeat.

Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja would however request the speaker to give senators a short break to have a conversation that would allow for the final resolution on the revenue sharing formula, a prayer that was granted by house Speaker Kenneth Lusaka.

Senate had earlier been forced to take a vote on an adjournment motion after a section of Senators expressed reservations over what they said was continued detention of Bomet Senator Christopher Langat, Cleophas Malala of Kakamega and Samburu’s Steve Lelegwe.

The motion by Tharaka Nithi Senator Kithure Kindiki was lost after the vote resulted in a tie with 29 senators voting in support of an adjournment with a similar number voting against the motion.

Kindiki had argued that giving a nod for the house to continue with its proceedings would amount to surrendering sovereignty to forces outside parliament.

“There’s no way we are going to entertain any arm of Government to run this institution, we will not allow it,” argued the Tharaka Nithi Senator.

In opposing the adjournment motion, Murang’a Senator and Majority Whip Irungu Kang’ata said the arrests of the three Senators had no connection to the passing of the revenue sharing formula bill.

“I rise to oppose this motion. My brothers on the other side are the ones who signed the petition, they demanded today’s session,” said Kangata.

Shortly after the results were announced, Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja demanded to know who will be delegated to vote for the Kakamega and Bomet delegations on the amendment to the Finance Committee’s report as suggested by Nominated Senator Petronila Were.

Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen saying the three Senators had an impact on the adjournment vote.

This as Kindiki tabled a letter addressed to the speaker with instructions that Bomet Senator Christopher Langat, Cleophas Malala would not be delegating responsibility to vote on the revenue sharing formula.

Citing house standing orders and the constitution, Speaker Lusaka ruled that the power to vote by the two Senators would not be designated to any delegation.

Trouble started when Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i failed to appear before the security committee to explain the whereabouts of three senators who had earlier been arrested in a day characterized by drama saying he was on leave.

Senate Speaker Kenneth Lusaka had earlier in the morning directed the security committee to convene a meeting bringing together concerned parties in the saga and report back to the house in the afternoon.

And after the no show, Lusaka directed the Senate National Security Committee to summon CS Matiang’i to appear by Wednesday this week to shed more light on the arrest of the three legislators.

Kakamega Senator Cleophas Malala surrendered to DCI officers who had camped at his Kitengela home for the better part of the day on Monday afternoon.

His arrest came just hours after his Bomet counterpart Christopher Langat and his Samburu counterparts were arrested.


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