Kenyans were treated to an interesting political showdown at the Senate, on Tuesday evening, as senators aggressively sought to take firm positions on the ongoing debate around a proposed county resource sharing formula.
The government led by Uhuru Kenyatta had adopted a population-driven sharing mechanism. This proposal, advanced in the Senate by Majority Chief Whip Irung’u Kang’ata, was bound to favor densely populated areas at the expense of lightly populated regions. Given the massive mobilization strategies adopted by the government sides in recent issues such as the BBI Report, many expected a landslide win for the majority party during the house voting stage. Instead, a total of 25 senators voted to shoot down the motion and imply a legislative death to the Kang’ata proposal.
Of the 25 senators who went against the desires of the government, at least eight of them have their membership in the ruling party, Jubilee. These are Senator Kipchumba Murkomen (Elgeyo-Marakwet), Johnstone Sakaja (Nairobi), Anwar Loitiptip (Lamu), Kindiki Kithure (Tharaka Nithi), Ltumbesi Lelegwe (Samburu) Mahamud Mohamed (Wajir) Wario Juma (Tana River) and Philip Mpaayei (Kajiado).
The biggest surprise of the day was the position taken by Nairobi County Senator, Johnson Sakaja. Sakaja, touted as a Jubilee insider visibly went against the motion despite the possible increase of allocation to Nairobi County by the Kang’ata proposal.