STANDOFF

Strike deal on revenue formula urgently, senators told

Mudavadi says lawmakers should put aside their personal and political differences to break the deadlock.

In Summary
  • Governors say activities and functions in devolved units have ground to a halt.
  • An ad-hoc committee on the revenue-sharing formula yet to reach a consensus.
ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi addresses media on the need for accountability of leaders on August 23, 2020, at the party's headquarters in Nairobi.
ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi addresses media on the need for accountability of leaders on August 23, 2020, at the party's headquarters in Nairobi.
Image: WILFRED NYANGARESI

ANC party leader Musalia Mudavadi has urged senators to reach a consensus on the revenue-sharing formula.

This came as governors insisted their threat to shut down counties is real.

Mudavadi asked senators to put aside their personal and political differences and break the deadlock on the already overdue third-generation formula.

 

“Counties are now feeling the pinch due to the delayed disbursement of funds from the national government. There is a public outcry of despair and governors are now threatening a shutdown,” he said.

Council of Governors chairman Oparanya indicated that several activities and functions in devolved units have ground to a halt due to lack of funds. “People think we are just joking. We are serious about a looming shutdown unless something comes up in the next two weeks,” he maintained.

In a statement, Mudavadi said senators should avoid dragging political stands into the debate as this has seen a number of attempts fail.

“Emotions in a matter like this one will not help. This is what we have been witnessing for weeks now.  Leaders should focus on finding a formula as a collective ultimate goal. This is not the time for grandstanding,” added the ANC leader.

An ad-hoc committee on the revenue-sharing formula has yet to reach a consensus.

County governments have threatened to shut down from September 17, meaning services will be stopped and employees sent on leave.

Failure to pass the third-generation formula has consequently delayed the approval of the County Allocation of Revenue Act, 2020.

 

Meru Governor Kiraitu Murungi has indicated that his employees have not been paid for two months.

Mudavadi urged senators to understand that county governments also serve Kenyans. He acknowledged that revenue sharing is not a simple matter and needs to be constantly reviewed as situations change over time.

“A window to use the existing formula if the new formula needs further dialogue is an option that should be put into consideration,” he said.

He pointed out that the economy has been strained by Covid-19 pandemic, with a number of counties already struggling to pay salaries and provide essential services.