Members of Parliament and Senators leading mediation talks on the Division of Revenue Bill 2019 are meeting to finalize the deal to release County funds. Last week, Senators settled on the proposed Kshs 316 billion to be sent to Counties, loosening their grip on their tough stand. The Senate had proposed Kshs 335 billion, but the demand which was deemed too high ensured the impasse lasted for weeks, crippling services at Counties as a result.
The Council of Governors chairman Governor Wycliffe Oparanya had warned that if a solution wouldn’t have been made by 16th September, then there would be a shutdown in Counties. Speaking moments before the talks on the finalized deal on Wednesday, National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale said all Senators and MPs have agreed a deal, and are hopeful by the end of the day it will be presented to both the National Assembly and Senate for discussion on Thursday. He said they are hopeful President Uhuru Kenyatta will sign it early next week, which will be before 16th, “By Monday or Tuesday, the President will sign it so that County governments can get the money,” he said.
Last week on Thursday, Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen, who was accompanied by other Senators including James Orengo, Johnson Sakaja, Mutula Kilonzo Jr among others, said the decision by Senators to accept the proposed figure of Kshs 316 billion was agreed at a meeting held by the Senators. “This has been a painful decision for the Senate, but the Senate has been faced with a situation where it has to rise to the calling and put the overall national interests above short term partisan considerations,” he said. He noted that the Senate was able to raise the figure by 6.5 billion from the earlier published Kshs 310 billion, “It is not enough but it is progress and the Senate will live to fight another day.”