SENATE DEADLOCK

Senators must be present for county revenue vote

In Summary

• A new revenue sharing formula would reduce finds for 18 less populous counties by Sh17 billion

• Three senators were arrested yesterday leading to suspicions that government wanted to reduce Team Kenya votes

The senate team after they agreed to the Sh316 billion allocation to counties.
The senate team after they agreed to the Sh316 billion allocation to counties.
Image: EZEKIEL AMING'A

Yesterday senators Steve Lelegwe (Samburu) and Christopher Langat (Bomet) were arrested by police while Cleophas Malala (Kakamega) was hiding in his house fearing arrest.

Government has been trying to pass a new revenue allocation formula that gives greater weight to population. As a result, 18 less densely populated counties would lose Sh17 billion. 

Team Kenya, supported by around 25 senators, proposes a new harmonised formula. Government is still insisting on the original formula.

 

The deadlock has stalled the passage of the County Allocation of Revenue Bill 2020 to share out Sh316.5 billion among the 47 counties.

The police is indicating that the senators have charges to answer, possibly over tax evasion, but it seems an extraordinary coincidence that they were all arrested on the same day. The suspicion remains that the arrests were designed to provide government with a technical knockout by eliminating some Team Kenya votes.

Whatever the truth of the matter, this matter must be resolved in the Senate with all members present. If it is not possible to find a mutually acceptable version, let government renew the existing revenue sharing formula for one more year.

Quote of the day: "You are either alive and proud or you are dead, and when you are dead, you can't care anyway."

Steve Biko 
The South African activist was arrested on August 18, 1977, and later died of his injuries.