REVENUE ALLOCATION ROW

Uhuru tells Senators, MPs to end county cash stalemate

Says counties should accept what is available for them instead of waiting for more money.

In Summary

• Uhuru says MPs should ensure counties get their allocation without further delays. 

• Reminds MPs that the national government is strained financially. 

President Uhuru Kenyatta addresses the Nakuru county assembly on Wednesday, August 14, 2019.
President Uhuru Kenyatta addresses the Nakuru county assembly on Wednesday, August 14, 2019.
Image: PSCU

President Uhuru Kenyatta has urged Senators and MPs to resolve the dispute surrounding the Division of Revenue Bill and allocate money to counties.

Uhuru said MPs should ensure counties get their allocation without further delays since Kenyans will suffer if the standoff persists.

The Senate wants counties to get Sh335 billion from Treasury but the National Assembly has maintained that figure should be Sh316 billion.

 

“The Constitution says counties should not get less than 15 per cent of the national revenue. In just one year, I increased that amount to 30 per cent,” he said.

The President said that the country’s resources are strained and leaders should not act as if there is more than enough money for everybody.

Uhuru spoke in Nakuru while opening the county assembly building. 

He said counties should accept what is available for them instead of waiting for more money.

Workers in several counties went on strike on Tuesday to demand their July salaries.

The delays in payment caused by the impasse between the Senate and National Assembly.

Meanwhile, workers in six of the counties have vowed to escalate the ongoing strike even as staff in some in the devolved units reach consensus with the executive over the July pay.

 

The workers who want to step up the strike are accusing the executive of remaining uncooperative in resolving the standoff.

The Kenya County Government Workers Union said workers in Laikipia, Busia, Kisumu, Kitui, Samburu and Homa Bay have been angered by the executive’s hardline stance and will be taking the industrial action to a higher level.

“There is no pleasure of going on strike but we will continue with the salary parade in the six rogue counties if that is the language they understand,” KCGWU general secretary Roba Duba said. 

Duba said other counties are willing to listen to and engage with the workers to find a solution to the stalemate.

“The problematic counties have refused to honour their obligations. We will step up our combat with them. It will be harder,” Duba said

Others counties that have not paid staff are Isiolo Marsabit, Kirinyaga, Meru. Kitui, Baringo, Elgeyo Marakwet, Kericho, West Pokot, Murang’a, Kilifi, Taita Taveta, Embu, Nakuru, Nyeri and Uasin Gishu.

Counties that have not paid salaries promised to do so by the end of the week to avert more trouble.

KCGWU had issued a seven-day strike notice and warned of paralysis of all services in the counties until the workers are paid.

(edited by O. Owino)