By Senator Wambua.
To God I give all the glory. The call of leadership has rang in the Senate. Some senators will pick it and others will choose not to pick it. I have chosen to pick it and confront the consequences of both the conversation and the outcome of the call.
One of the most important decisions of the Senate of the Republic of Kenya is to legislate on a basis for sharing revenue among counties. I thank God that such a decision is being made in my time as the Senator representing the great people of Kitui County. For the last several weeks, the Senate has been trying to pass the third general basis for sharing revenue among the 47 counties.
Because the second generation basis has elapsed after three years in use. The basis we are grappling with should serve the 47 counties for the next five years.
To cut the long story short, the Finance committee has tabled a motion on the floor of the Senate in which Kitui County is supposed to lose Sh432m. To sweeten the bitter pill, the Majority Whip moved an amendment to delay the commencement date for the basis by two years.
Why the delay?
So that the sitting senators will not be blamed for the loss of funds in their counties within this term. For me this is nonsense on stilts. It is a very selfish thing to do if the only gain the delay is supposed to achieve is to cushion senators from presumptive blame.
I have taken the position that no county should lose money because the global figure being shared among counties is the same as last year (Sh316.5b). But even more fundamentally the loss is not to individual senators. It is people in the counties that would lose money if we allow a bad basis. It is devolution that will lose.
Kitui Vs Kirinyaga case:
Take a simple comparison between Kitui and Kirinyaga counties. Even using the latest census results, Kitui County has a population of 1.4m people. Kirinyaga County has a population of 885k (almost half of Kitui County). The land mass of Kitui is 30,496 sq kms. The land mass of Kirinyaga is 1,478 sq kms. So Kitui County is more than 20 times bigger than Kirinyaga in land size and has a population which is about double that of Kirinyaga.
But when it comes to sharing the money, Kirinyaga GAINS Sh762m and Kitui LOSES Sh432m. I won’t accept this twisted wisdom in sharing revenue among to counties. And this is just one example of two counties. There are a lot more bizarre stories in the proposed motion.
So I am part of a team that has agreed to come up with a position that looks fair to the people we lead even on face value. Anything short of this, I will oppose.
I thank those of you who have taken very keen interest on this national debate. I thank those of you who have consistently encouraged me to soldier on and I am humbled by those who have consistently criticised the position I have taken on this matter.
To all of you, I give you my word that I will serve my county and my country diligently and in the best interest of a one, united, indivisible Kenya. God bless each one of you. God bless Kitui County. God bless Kenya.
Enoch Kiio Wambua,
Senator, Kitui County,
Vice Chair — Senate Agri Committee