Senate convenes over revenue sharing formula impasse

Written By: Samuel Musita
141

The Senate is this afternoon expected to try to resolve a stalemate that has shrouded the approval of proposed formula developed by the commission on revenue allocation for equal revenue sharing among counties.

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Without the sharing formula, the Sh316.5 billion allocated to counties in the current financial year cannot be shared among the 47 devolved units. Article 217 (1) of the Constitution mandates the Senate to determine the formula once every five years.

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A special sitting convened by Lusaka last week to specifically approve the crucial money bill failed to do so after the senator failed to enact the formula because the Standing Committee on Finance and Budget was yet to finalize its report.

At least 21 Senators drawn from the arid and semi-arid counties have protested the new proposed formula saying it will further marginalize their areas.

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10 Governors from frontier counties have also petitioned the national government to shelve, for one year, the implementation of a new revenue sharing formula.

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The counties which include Garissa, Wajir, Marsabit, Isiolo, Samburu, Turkana, Tana River, West Pokot, Lamu and Mandera will collectively lose Sh17 billion as a result of the stringent measures outlined in the contested formula.

According to the aggrieved Senators, the contentious formula is an improvement on the one proposed by the Commission on Revenue Allocation that emphasizes key parameters of distribution as health 20%, population 17%, agriculture 12% and poverty 15%.

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If adopted some the biggest losers will be Mandera County with an expected reduction of Ksh 2 billion, Wajir County Ksh 1.4 billion while Kwale and Kilifi would lose Ksh 1.2 and 1.1 billion shillings respectively.

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