Sakaja, Linturi to lead eighth attempt to broker county revenue formula standoff

Senators kithure Kindiki (Tharaka Nithi), Johnson Sakaja (Nairobi) and Kipchumba Murkomen (Elgeyo Marakwet)

Senators under the One-Kenya movement have assigned Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja and his Meru counterpart Mithika Linturi the responsibility to craft a deal to end the revenue stalemate.

In a press statement on Friday, the “like-minded senators” said they are supporting an amendment sponsored by Senator Linturi, which is a further amendment to the one sponsored by Sakaja.

This means they have dispensed with the amended formula that had been proposed by the Finance Committee.

“The Linturi Amendment retains the parameters contained in Sen. Sakaja’s original amendment but only lowers the amount that will be shared to the counties using the existing resolution. This amount shall range between Ksh250Billion and Ksh270 Billion. The exact amount shall be agreed upon once the negotiations are complete,” the statement said.

The legislators said anything above the agreed figure as indicated above shall be shared using the formula proposed by the Finance committee.

“Towards finding a final solution, we have mandated Sen. Sakaja to work with Sen. Linturi to ensure that they burn the midnight oil and give us the final document on or before Monday, 10th August, 2020. Both Senators will agree on how to co-sponsor the approved version,” they said.

They noted that the solution they proposed will end the prolonged debate on the revenue standoff so that they can pass the final version unanimously on Tuesday.

This comes a day after ODM leader Raila Odinga made a u-turn on the formula, a move that further weakens the handshake. He had thrown his weight behind the “one man, one vote, one shilling” mantra, which has divided the Senate and threatened to halt county operations.

The proposed formula favours President Kenyatta’s backyards and some parts of Western and the Rift Valley, but disfranchises marginalised counties.

“When I first wrote the statement, I had just come back from (treatment in) Dubai,” Raila said during an interview with NTV.

He said he was not aware that the report by the Commission on Revenue Allocation (CRA) had been changed by the parliamentary budget committee.

Supporting Sakaja’s amendments, Raila said, “It should not be about a winner and a loser. It should be a win-win situation right now. And that is the reason why if the amendment was being proposed that you do not implement any formula now until more resources are made available. So no county will lose as they will get the same amount of money they got in the last financial year”.

Senate Majority Whip and Uhuru ally Irungu Kang’ata had last month said if the ODM brigade in the Senate did not support the formula, Central leader would reconsider their position on the BBI.

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