Mwalika slams Governors and Senators Over The division of Revenue bill 2019 stand-off

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By county diary

A complete showdown is looming over the division of Revenue bill 2019, the National Assembly has slashed the allocation to counties, putting the council of governors, MCAss and Senators into coalition course.

Kitui rural Member of Parliament hon bon Mwalika has said The revenue allocation to county governments should be done according to the law and revenue sharing formula developed by Commission of Revenue Allocation.

The legislator said senators and Governors have no final over how much the National government should allocate to counties save for national assembly and commission of Revenue Allocation CRA.

Governors have firmed up a “monumental case” against Jubilee administration amid a protracted revenue sharing standoff.

With county governments staring at a complete shutdown without money two weeks into the new financial year, the county chiefs on Monday launched one of the boldest and aggressive campaigns targeting the national government

They accused the Kenyatta regime of presiding over a rogue National Assembly determined to suffocate devolution,The governors outlined five points of contention that they want the David Maraga-led apex court to arbitrate.

They want the Supreme Court to determine the input of the Senate in protecting counties at the Legislature, the legality of the IFMIS system and the formula for allocation of grants.

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The devolved units’ chiefs want the apex court to decide the legality of vote heads held by the national government yet relevant functions are devolved.

Further, they want the Supreme Court to pronounce itself on whether MPs can deviate from the recommendations by the Commission for Revenue Allocation on the shareable revenue.

The governors mobilized county assembly members to join Senate leaders in a symbolic protest march in Nairobi that culminated in the filing of the case at the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court asked the petitioners to submit written submissions within three days and serve the respondents before the case is mentioned on Friday, July 19.

It is unusual for governors, who are heads of devolved units to hold protests, but yesterday the over 30 governors, deputy governors, Speakers of county assemblies and dozens of MCAs held a procession from the Intercontinental Hotel to the Supreme Court.

The county bosses were in an unfamiliar territory chanting “Haki Yetu (Our right) as they walked under tight security following the impasse on the Division of Revenue Bill 2019,

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“In this second term, devolved governance is being attacked by denying county governments their resources. The National Treasury continues to hold counties hostage by always deviating from the Commission of Revenue Allocations recommendation by constantly denying disbursement of funds to counties,” CoG chairman Wycliffe Oparanya said.

The governors ignored an appeal by Deputy President William Ruto who had on Sunday asked them not to file the case as the Division of Revenue Bill, 2019 impasse would be resolved amicably.

Parliament wants the 47 counties to be given Sh316 billion, up from the Sh310 billion they had approved while senators want the devolved units to be given Sh327 billion, a compromise from the Sh335.7 billion set by CRA.

The mediation between the senators and MPs collapsed, triggering the stalemate that now threatens to sink counties into a deeper financial crisis.

The forum was attended by most of the governors, Senate Majority leader Kipchumba Murkomen and his Minority counterpart James Orengo. Both fully backed the governors on the court case

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“If we leave the national Assembly to operate the way it is doing in the next two years, Kenya will be worse than the one-party Kanu regime. We are fully behind governors on this,” Murkomen said

In their constitutional reference petition, the governors want the Supreme Court to declare itself on the role of the Senate in the legislative function of Parliament amid claims it is being muzzled by the National Assembly.

Crucial bills, especially those concerning county governments, are never forwarded to the Senate for consideration, debate, and approval, the governors argue.

The Senate is supposed to give the recommendations to the national assembly, the legislator said the council of governors and senators have set a bad precedent to the people of Kenya

You have set a bad precedent to the people you lead by demonstrating to the Supreme Court, Hon Bon mwalika has said. The people of Kenya might see the only solution to get county bosses for accountability will to be to demonstrate.

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