Senate welcomes BBI proposal to increase funding to counties

Written By: Eric Biegon & Silas Mwiti
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Members of the Senate have lauded the proposal in the Building Bridges Initiative report to increase funding to counties by 35 percent. Terming this a true spirit of devolution, House Speaker Kenneth Lusaka says, if adopted, the increased kitty will help fast-track development in the grassroots.

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“The Senate should be ready to oversight the use of the funds.” He noted

Lusaka who was speaking in Naivasha further disclosed that senators are trying to building consensus on the proposals contained in the report.

He said lawmakers had chosen to retreat so as to have an opportunity to analyze the document that was unveiled to the public by President Uhuru Kenyatta last week in Bomas.

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“Senate made its recommendations and the legal committee is now studying the document before we make our position on Friday,” he disclosed

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He specifically noted the senators will be scrutinizing the document to ascertain whether recommendations made to the BBI steering committee by the senate were captured.

Lusaka said his chamber was so significant insisting that it would not be bypassed on matters that shape the country’s future. It is here that the Speaker took issue with members of the executive who have continuously disregarded Senate summons.

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“We have raised the issue with the Cabinet committee that is headed by CS Matiangi who has agreed to make sure they respond to the summons,” he said.

This was echoed by the leader of majority in the Senate Samuel Pogishio who warned of dire consequences to those ignoring directives from the chamber.

He noted that State agencies were notorious for sending junior officers who could not make decisions, a move that was adversely affecting the work of the Senate.

“We want to issue a notice to Cabinet Secretaries and senior officers of government agencies that they are duty bound to respect Senate summons,” he said.

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On the differences that have recently shaped the situation in the Senate, Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja noted that issues of contention have been resolved citing revenue allocation impasse.

He said that though debate had split the house into two, the senators had managed to see the amount of funds allocated to counties increased from Ksh. 316B to Ksh.370B.

“The differences created at the height of the revenue sharing bill have been sorted and the counties are the winners,” he said

 

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