• The National Treasury has been withholding the funds because of a lack of enabling legislation to unlock its release.
• The Bill was first introduced for first reading in the 12th Parliament but the life of the August House elapsed before it could be passed and signed into law.
Several donor-funded projects in counties could be affected as Parliament delays passing a law to unlock Sh42 billion in grants.
Parliament is set to break for the Christmas and New Year holidays next week Thursday without passing a bill that seeks to unlock the funds.
Hopes that the two Houses would pass the County Government Additional Allocation Bill, 2022 are minimal due to quorum hitches as most members travel to South Sudan for East Africa Legislative Assembly games.
Some are travelling to Qatar to watch the ongoing Fifa World Cup.
The Bill is currently in the third reading stage in the Senate.
“It is highly unlikely that Parliament will pass this bill by next week because we are going for EALA games tomorrow [Thursday],” Senate Finance and Budget committee vice chairperson Maureen Mutinda said.
“Probably we will finish it next year or if the speakers convene a special sitting,” she added.
The National Treasury has been withholding the funds because of a lack of enabling legislation to unlock its release.
The Bill was introduced for first reading in the 12th Parliament but the life of the august House elapsed before it could be passed and signed into law.
The Bill provides a legal framework for the release of additional funding from the national government and development partners to the 47 county governments in the current financial year.
Governors have already warned that continued delay of the legislation will affect many projects and programmes funded by donors.
“When we were in Mombasa, the governors said that county governments were suffering because these conditional grants were not included in the funds that were transferred to the counties,” Nairobi Senator Edwin Sifuna said.
Senate Majority leader Aaron Cheruiyot called for the passage of the Bill before members break for a long recess.
“The time that they have should be sufficient for them to conclude on this Bill so that by the time we break for December holidays, counties are able to access these funds,” he said.
Initially, the funds were captured in the Division of Revenue Bill, which divides revenue generated nationally between national and county governments.
However, the High Court, in a case filed by the Council of Governors, ruled that the funds be separated, adding that only an equitable share should be captured in the Division of Revenue Bill.
In the bill, Sh5.6 billion has been allocated to devolved units for construction of county headquarters and medical equipment leasing programme.
Some Sh454 million has been allocated to Tana River, Tharaka Nithi and Nyandarua that are yet to complete construction of their headquarters.
Another Sh5.20 billion has been allocated to all the 47 devolved units for the managed equipment service programme.
The programme involves leasing of assorted medical equipment to select county and national hospitals.
They also allocated Sh13.47 billion to 34 counties as Equalisation Fund. The allocation include Sh6.62 billion meant for 2021-22 and Sh6.85 billion for the 2022-23 financial year.
Despite a conditional requirement, the Treasury has been dragging its feet in releasing the funds to develop regions that were considered marginalised.
The bill also allocates the counties Sh23.70 billion from loans and development partners.
They include Sh3.56 billion from the World Bank for National Agricultural and Rural Inclusive Growth Project and Sh1.99 billion also from the World Bank for Kenya Climate Smart Agriculture Project.