• Senators want counties to get Sh335 billion while MPs want it capped at Sh310 billion, leading to a stalemate while counties starve for lack of allocation.
• President Kenyatta says betting firms have to pay tax to increase revenue base, says the money will go to sports and health departments.
President Uhuru Kenyatta yesterday said the money allocated to the counties will not be increased.
He said the government has no extra money. Uhuru spoke at Kirwara Secondary School during the burial of Rahab Wambui, the mother of former Gatanga MP Peter Kenneth.
Last week, county chiefs sought Supreme Court advisory on how revenues should be shared between the national and county governments. They took the decision after Parliament failed to pass the Division of Revenue Bill following disagreements between the National Assembly and the Senate.
MPs want counties allocated Sh310 billion while senators want the amount raised to Sh335 billion.
But Uhuru yesterday urged governors to work with what they have and control their expenditure to ensure the money goes towards development. He said the government has already given out what it could.
“All this money that they keep asking for, they should tell us where it's going to come from,” Uhuru said.
He challenged senators, who have been calling for additional allocation to the devolved units, to consider having it deducted from their salaries.
“It’s the only way the money will be added because the government does not have any other money.”
The government disburses funds based on what is available, he said.
He said Kenyans concerned about services, yet governors continue to rally for more allocations. Uhuru also urged Kenyans to continue paying taxes to ensure more development.
He reiterated that betting companies must pay taxes to increase the money available for development.
“Some people have told me that what I've done with the betting companies is wrong, yet the money they make benefits a few individuals.”
The head of state said taxes from the firms will help support sports and the health sector.
Already, five hospitals have been listed to benefit from the fund, he said. Kirwara Hospital, which Murang’a leaders said needs an upgrade, will also be considered, he added.
The President also noted three major roads will be built. They include the Gatanga-Njabiini Road that connects Murang’a to Nyandarua county, the Kenol-Marua-Isiolo dual carriageway and another road that will connect Kiambu, Murang’a and Nyeri counties.
The roads will ease transportation of products to the markets and help provide employment while alleviating poverty.
“All these projects have been done because of the unity and the co-operation of leaders. I want to commend leaders who have come together to fight challenges facing our nation and ensure all Kenyans feel at peace with their neighbours,” he said.
Opposition leader Raila Odinga said the country is losing Sh800 billion to graft every year. He said the country cannot move forward unless the menace is completely eradicated and highlighted the need for Kenyans to stand together.
DP William Ruto asked Kenyans to rally behind President Kenyatta for the country to spur development.
“We will stand with you in what you started in 2013 to bring Kenyans together and stop politics of tribalism and hatred,” he told Uhuru.
It is through his leadership, Ruto said, that the country has continued to record positive changes.
Edited by R.Wamochie