What you need to know:
- Senators have failed for seven times to adopt the formula for sharing Sh316.5 billion.
- The ongoing divisions in the Senate, if not resolved soon, could throw counties into serious financial crises.
- Already, county employees are facing delays in getting their salaries.
The National Council of Elders has waded into the revenue sharing debate, appealing to Commission on Revenue Allocation (CRA) to revise the controversial third basis formula.
The elders want CRA to come up with a win-win formula that will ensure equitable revenue distribution to all the counties.
In coming up with the alternative formula, the council said, CRA must give a matrix of variables and parameters of counties’ fiscal prudence, service delivery and ensure that envisioned development plans like Vision 2030 are given higher weighed indices.
The council’s chairman Phares Rutere Sunday said the current formula, if applied, will disadvantage counties with smaller populations, which is against the spirit of devolution.
According to the CRA proposal, 28 counties with huge populations are to gain while 19 with high poverty levels, vast land mass and smaller population will lose on equitable share with some losing billions of shillings.
“The alternative formula should promote balanced development and offer a win-win situation for counties,” said Mr Rutere.
The elders also want under-developed counties with huge land mass, where the government is implementing mega projects, to be considered for additional funding regardless of their population for enhanced development.
This, the council says, will ensure more development is realised especially in the marginalised counties so that they are at par with the already developed regions.
“The marginalised areas have less population due to lack of development and by allocating more funds to the counties, there will be more development and Kenyans will feel comfortable living in any part of the country,” the official said.
Cohesion and unity
The group maintained that the formula must broker cohesion and build unity of the nation so that Kenyans conveniently access quality services across the entire country.
Mr Rutere said while a lasting solution to the stalemate is sought, counties should be given some funds to run key operations such as health and the Covid-19 fight.
Senators have failed for seven times to adopt the formula for sharing Sh316.5 billion allocated to the 47 counties even as the devolved governments face a financial crunch.
The ongoing divisions in the Senate, if not resolved soon, could throw counties into serious financial crises and halt services.
Already, county employees are facing delays in getting their salaries.
Mr Rutere accused senators of being greedy and self-centred by thinking about their individual counties instead of the country at large.
“They should think as Kenyans and ensure that all the areas are developed so that Kenyans are comfortable relocating to any part of our republic,” he said.
In a press release on Sunday, the elders’ council called for sobriety and objectivity to the debate from the Senate and all stakeholders to assist in coming up with the most deserving, political and apolitical answer to the standoff.