Hillary Mageka and Anthony Mwangi @PeopleDailyKE
Counties will have to wait a little longer for funds after mediation talks on the sharing of revenue failed again.
The talks failed after senators and MPs refused to cede ground, with the former maintaining that counties should get Sh327 billion and latter demanding a Sh316 billion allocation.
Speaker of the National Assembly, Justin Muturi, will now have to invoke Standing Order number one to call for a fresh tabling of the Division of Revenue Allocation (Dora)Bill.
“The talks have failed, we have walked out on them,” Makueni Senator Mutula Kilonzo said as he led Narok Senator Ledama Ole Kina and his Nakuru counterpart Susan Kihika in storming out of the meeting that lasted over three hours.
“We cannot sit down and allow ourselves to be lectured all the time by our National Assembly colleagues on the amount to be devolved to the counties,” he added.
The collapsed talks signal trouble for counties, which will be plunged into cash crises affecting salaries and disrupting services.
Leader of Majority in the National Assembly, Aden Duale, has allayed fears of a cash crunch insisting the Constitution envisages such a stalemate.
“If we have disagreed that does not mean county governments will be starved, that is a fallacy,” he said, adding that the vertical division of revenue allocation between the two government levels in Article 95 is the function of the National Assembly.
He, however, stated when the Senate went to court in 2014, the Supreme Court only gave an opinion. “They should have made a determination because the horizontal allocation of revenue is the exclusive function of the Senate,” the Garissa Township MP added.
Mandera Senator and chair of the Budget and Finance committee, Mohamed Mohamud, clarified a Dora bill can be passed by any house of parliament.