Let's delay new county revenue formula to 2021

In Summary

• New county revenue formula increases weighting for population in allocation of revenue

• Mount Kenya is happy but the North-East, Coast and Western are grumbling


There is stalemate in the Senate over the proposed new formula for allocation of revenue to counties. The 2010 Constitution provided that the formula should be reviewed every five years.

The proposed new formula takes greater account of population and less of poverty and land mass. That suits Mount Kenya with its densely populated counties but has not been popular with the North, Coast and Western where 18 counties will be losing Sh17 billion annually.

Under the new formula, the weighting for population has jumped from 18 to 45 per cent. Even that does not satisfy some senators who argue that the guiding principle should be one voter, one shilling.

Arguments can be made on both sides but at the end of the day, marginalised counties need special assistance. They have a larger land mass with higher costs and fewer other sources of revenue.

Covid-19 has disrupted the Senate Budget committee which has not fully reviewed the new formula proposed by the Commission on Revenue Allocation.

It might now be best to use the existing formula for one more year until consensus is reached on sharing of county revenue.

Quote of the day: "When Adam delved, and Eve span, who was then the gentleman?"

John Ball
The English rebel priest was hanged on July 15, 1381