Senators Sakaja, Linturi tasked with formulating key revenue division proposal

Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja

The Senators team that stood opposed to the third basis of revenue allocation formula led by Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen has tasked Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja and Meru Senator Mithika Linturi to put their proposed amendments together and come up with a final document on or before Monday. The revenue allocation formula which is key to the enactment of the County Revenue Bill 2020 has set a rift in Parliament with Senators divided on the best formula.

The current model bases mostly on population, although it has other parameters whose weights are key including health, agriculture and roads. This means most populous Counties stand to gain, while the least populated Counties losing. A section of Senators have opposed this-after Murang’a Senator Irungu Kang’ata-tabled further amendments, with Counties from the North and lower Eastern region and Coastal region stand to lose billions.

Sakaja’s proposed amendments were already tabled in the Senate, with the debate adjourned for a seventh time on Tuesday. Meru Senator Linturi also has proposed amendments to the revenue allocation formula. His amendments retain the parameters contained in Sakaja’s original amendments but lowers the base of shareable revenue to between Kshs 250 billion to Kshs 270 billion, down from Sakaja’s base of Kshs 316 billion, with the remaining to be distributed accordingly. The exact base amount will be agreed upon during talks.

Speaking to the press on Friday, Murkomen said even when Senators passed the revenue formula, some Counties gained and others lost, but not at the rate proposed recently.

He said the once Sakaja and Linturi work out a way to have a single formula together, they are confident it will be passed unanimously next week on Tuesday when Senate has another session to clear the issue, since it will be a win-win. “Once they agree, the question of losing and winning becomes manageable….Counties with a higher population will gain something and Counties who were losing a lot of money will will now be at a manageable level.”

He said the two Senators don’t have a negotiating team accompanying them, however, “Senator Sakaja’s formula has component A an B. Under A, he retains a constant figure which is the base, in his base the constant figure is Kshs 316 billion. We had agreed to negotiate the base to be between Kshs 250 billion and Kshs 270 billion, and once we agree on that figure then whatever will be over and above up to the Kshs 316 billion already passed in the division of revenue will be loaded to Senator Sakaja’s proposal as it is.”

Moments after the press address, Deputy President William Ruto supported the proposed win-win amendments. “The emerging consensus on the revenue formula (Sakaja/Linturi) where populous Counties receive reasonable increase while the others make major savings from otherwise huge losses is a big stride in pursuit of a win-win outcome. A united and patriotic Senate will deliver the solution,” he said in a tweet.