By Kiptanui Rutto
It is now clear that when you are interested in something you will go for it no matter the case or the forces behind it.
This was vividly shown yesterday when Senate threw under the bus the new revenue sharing formula developed by the Commission on Revenue Allocation (CRA) a motion that was fully supported by President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM Leader, Raila Odinga.
Raila who had gone silent for a while due to health issues Twitted few hours before the debate that the attention of the country has been captured by the standoff over the sharing of revenue among county governments. He said five times the senate has failed to adopt its own amendments to the third basis formula for sharing revenue from the CRA.
In his final para, Raila said having a robust debate on this matter, the Senate should now allow the country move forward by adopting the CRA report while using the concerns voiced for future recommendations on revenue sharing.
According to sources, Raila had asked his lieutenants to back it in support of President Uhuru but they failed to, raising concerns over his command. Some of his right hand men had publicly stamp there stand that they will not support it.
This made Senate Majority Chief Whip Irungu Kangata to threaten the Raila led team that Jubilee Party will throw away BBI if the ODM team fails to support the State House sponsored motion.
The motion seemed not to go well with most senators who did not want counties to lose a single cent. Senators are in support of a motion by Nairobi’s Johnson Sakaja seeking to ensure no county gets reduced allocation based on the third formula that will see regions that have been receiving a higher allocation because of their huge landmass and high poverty indices, get less.
According to a senior adviser at Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority Mohamed Wehliye, the biggest lie that has been sold to people in some parts of this country is that people in other parts of the country are getting more resources than they should be getting. In a Tweet he shared, he said resources are shared via 2 levels of governments, the National and the County governments.
This seemed to have amaze Fomer Justice Minister Senior Counsel Martha Karua who responded: “Just wondering whether in the debate over revenue allocation the senators and indeed all those engaged are looking at the different purpose & criteria of Articles 203 and 204 of the constitution.
Karua said whereas Article 203 deals with the Equitable share of resources between the National and county governments and sets the lower ceiling of 15 percent for county governments, Article 204 specifically creates the Equalization Fund whose purpose is to accelerate infrastructure.
The question is, was DP Dr. William Ruto hand in it?
His post on Twitter minutes before Raila’s indicated that the Senate should adopt a win-win formula.
He wrote: “The ongoing revenue formula debate is unnecessarily divisive. The Constitution envisages fair and equitable sharing of all our resources. The legislature MUST as per its MANDATE structure a WIN-WIN formula that is sensitive to proposals made without hurting any county. INAWEZEKANA.”
Nginyah Ngaruma who supported his sentiments said the most beneficial formula for all, Your Excellency, is the way to go. Meanwhile, keep on empowering those needing a little assistance to launch themselves into productively sustainable activities. May the Almighty bless you immensely.
Another Tweep Lincoln Jr stated that that we should understand it is not more of how much money a county receives but how the allocation meets those specific needs in each of the counties.
Victor Onyango said Senate should take a comprehensive approach to reviewing county allocations and take into account the overall impact of their decisions about fiscal transfers, rather than debating the formula alone.
Koech K said when they were chasing your allies from committees you kept quiet, you should have also muted on this too! He should have also let this one pass.
Former Senate Majority Leader Kipchumba Murkomen, had laughed of the JP leader saying he was surprised that on such a very important issue as County Allocation of Revenue Formula State House has not convened Jubilee Party PG to give the members clear direction.75% of the Majority Party Leadership is opposed to a proposed formula that’s marketed as President’s.
His ally former Senate Majority Chief Whip Susan Kihika had also vowed not to support the motion saying they had numbers when they threw them out of the Senate leadership and now they want them to support their motion.
The failing to adopt the motion seemed to be a big win for the TangaTanga team led by the DP.
Earlier on, Kilifi North MP. Owen Baya led a section of ODM leaders in Kilifi county appealing to the senate to reject the new revenue sharing formula, maintaining that it will deprive some counties of development funds.