Senate forced for a special sitting to discuss Governors

Senate Speaker Ken Lusaka has summoned a special sitting today to discuss the Division of Revenue Bill, 2019 and the County Allocation of Revenue Bill, 2019.

According to Lusaka, senators will also deliberate on the Third Generation Revenue Sharing Formula that has been developed by the Commission on Revenue Allocation (CRA).

In a Special Gazette dated April 25, Lusaka said he had summoned the House at the request of the leaders of Majority and Minority Kipchumba Murkomen and James Orengo, respectively, with the support of 15 other legislators.

“In accordance with the Standing Order 30(5), the business specified in this notice shall be the only business before the Senate during the special sitting,” Lusaka in the announcement that was also placed as paid-up advert in the national dailies.

The Division of Revenue Bill provides for the vertical share of revenue between the two levels of government. The National Treasury has proposed an allocation of Sh310 billion as the equitable shareable revenue. However, the Council of Governors it, arguing that it falls far below the Sh314 billion the counties received in 2018/19.

CoG chair Wycliffe Oparanya said both CRA and the governors have used the approved revenue base of Sh314 billion as provided for in the 2018 Division of Revenue Act while the Treasury’s base has been reviewed downwards as the per Budget Policy Statement of 2019 which intends to revise counties equitable share from Sh314 billion to Sh304 billion in the 2018/19 financial year.

“The council of governors is proposing for an equitable for an equitable share of revenue to counties in the 2019/20 financial year to be sh 343.7 billion,” Oparanya said his submission to Senate budget and finance committee chaired by Senator Mohammed Mahmud (Mandera).

In February, the Senate budget committee sidestepped an approval by the National Treasury to give the devolved units more money in the 2019-20 budget.

In its recommendations, the committee amended the Division of Revenue Bill, 2019 to make the total revenue due to the counties to Sh391 billion from the Sh371 billion projected earlier in the 2019 Budget Policy Statement (BPS).

“This is similar to the proposals by the Commission on Revenue Allocation (CRA) and the council of governors,” the report tabled in house reads in part.

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