The Division of Revenue Bill dispute between County bosses and the National Assembly has been taken to the Supreme Court as Governors filed a petition at the Supreme Court on Monday, led by Council of Governors Chairman and Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya. This comes even after Deputy President William Ruto urged Governors during the weekend to drop the decision to move to Court. The DP said the two levels of government can’t use money which isn’t available. The issue of equitable share has been highlighted repeatedly by Governors, who’ve accused the national government of derailing devolution by allocating less funds than what is required.
The National Assembly had supported the allocation of Kshs 310 billion to Counties, however, the Senate held out for Kshs 327 billion, a figure supported by Governors. A mediation team formed by the Speakers’ of the two houses have failed to come up with an agreement on the allocation. The Governors have sought the Court’s intervention to know the consequences of MPs and Senators failing to strike a deal on the Division of Revenue Bill among others.
Speaking outside the Supreme Court, Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparaya said the initial figure agreed between the Counties and the Commission on Revenue Allocation was Kshs 335 billion, but it was later scaled down to Kshs 327 billion after mediation. “Over the last six years, we have witnessed an onslaught on devolution, in the first term of County governments we saw devolution being undermined through formulation and enactment of centralist policies and laws, the council sort judicial interventions severally to declare some of the laws unconstitutional since they weakened devolution,” said Oparanya.
He said in the second term, devolved governance is being attacked by denying County governments their resources, and faulted the Treasury for ignoring the CRA’s recommendations, and denying funds’ disrbusment to Counties. Governor Oparanya said devolution is working in the Counties and no effort should derail its existence.