Revenue sharing: Hope for counties as senators reach consensus

The special committee of the Senate on the third basis for revenue sharing meet in Nairobi on September 17, 2020.

Photo credit: Pool

What you need to know:

  • Senate Speaker Kenneth Lusaka has confirmed to the Nation that the committee has reached consensus and that its report will be tabled in the House Thursday afternoon.
  • “Finally, there is white smoke,” Lusaka told the Nation. “We are happy that it has come earlier than expected.”

The 12-member Senate mediation committee has made a breakthrough in the long awaited search for an acceptable third basis of sharing revenue among counties.

The Nation has learnt that the committee has developed consensus and the formula will be tabled in the House Thursday afternoon for debate and possible adoption.

However, the character of the formula was not readily available but the Nation has further learnt that none of the 47 counties will lose the allocation they have received in the previous years.

Senate Speaker Kenneth Lusaka has confirmed to the Nation that the committee has reached consensus and that its report will be tabled in the House Thursday afternoon.

“Finally, there is white smoke,” Lusaka told the Nation. “We are happy that it has come earlier than expected.”

As a result, the Senate Business Committee (SBC) – the supreme organ of the House that schedules the business of the House has ordered the publication of a supplementary order paper for the Thursday afternoon sitting to take into account the committee’s report.

The SBC has also agreed to briefly suspend part of the sitting to allow the lawmakers to attend an informal meeting, also known as Speaker Kamukunji’s, where the committee will take them through the formula and provide simulation on how the Sh366.5 billion will be shared out in the next financial year.

After the Kamukunji, the matter will be put to debate and possibly voted for. In the event the House adopts the report, it will bringing to an end the longest running issue ever to ever confront the senate which had the possibility of splitting the House right in the middle.

On Tuesday, President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga pledged to extend Sh50 billion to counties in the next financial year as part of Jubilee administration effort to strengthen devolution.

The Senate endorsed the pledge ending the stalemate that has dogged the house over the third basis of sharing revenue among counties.

The decision was endorsed during an informal meeting of all senators, known as Kamukunji, just hours after the President hosted the House leadership at State House and gave the pledge.

Should the pledge of the President stand, allocation to counties will rise to Sh366.5 billion in the 2021/22 financial year, a figure that is way the projections of the National Treasury.

This marks the end of the stormy stalemate that has characterised the business of the House since the matter came up for consideration in July and sets the stage for unlocking of funds whose disbursement has been on hold for lack of a legal regime.

On Wednesday, the Council of Governors announced a partial shutdown of the county accusing the senate of doing little to end the impasse that has dragged on for the last three months.

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