EDITORIAL

Counties must develop alternative revenue sources

County operations are slowly grinding to a halt and many health workers have been unpaid for months

In Summary

• County unions have called a strike from Tuesday, which will aggravate the situation and increase suffering in the counties.

• Senators and M Ps must swallow their pride and find common ground. Counties must rethink demands to take over some government functions.

Speakers Kenneth Lusaka (Senate) and Justin Muturi (National Assembly) with respective Majority leaders Kipchumba Murkomen (Elgeyo Marwaket) and Aden Duale (Garissa Town) at Bomas of Kenya in Nairobi ahead of IEBC's announcement of presidential election results, October 30, 2017.
Speakers Kenneth Lusaka (Senate) and Justin Muturi (National Assembly) with respective Majority leaders Kipchumba Murkomen (Elgeyo Marwaket) and Aden Duale (Garissa Town) at Bomas of Kenya in Nairobi ahead of IEBC's announcement of presidential election results, October 30, 2017.
Image: FILE

County operations are grinding to a halt because of a stalemate between senators and MPs over the amount to be allocated to the devolved units.

The ping-pong between the two Houses on the Division of Revenue Bill is unhealthy. While senators have allocated counties Sh335 billion, MPs only want to allocate Sh316.

The matter is at the  Supreme Court, but calls by Chief Justice David Maraga for arbitration have failed. As the turf war rages, workers in several counties, including key dockets such as health, have gone unpaid for months.

 

Their unions have called for a strike from Tuesday, which will only aggravate the situation.

The stand-off between the Senate and the National Assembly should be an eye-opener to the counties that it is time they started exploring other sources of revenue, instead of relying heavily on the national government to fund their operations.

They should also take a critical review of the national functions they want to run because from the ongoing situation, it seems they have bitten off more than they can chew in the whole of this devolution set-up.

Senators and MPs, on the other hand, must swallow their egos and adopt a common ground to ease further suffering in the counties.