REvenue sharing stalemate: Senators adjourn debate for seventh time

Parliament sitting-UPESINEWS

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BY JOAN WANJIKU,NAIROBI,4TH AUG 2020-Senators on Tuesday voted to adjourn debate on the Revenue Sharing Formula.Senators voted 34-26 to adjourn the sitting, with one abstention.

This is the seventh time the debate is being adjourned.Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen had moved a motion urging senators to give dialogue one more chance.Speaking during the Senate proceedings on Tuesday, Murkomen said Kenya is suffering and it must get a solution.

“Give dialogue one more chance and a conversation on how to find a way forward,” Murkomen said.

“I want to beg and request my colleagues, we have a chance, Jubilee and ODM are here with us and Uhuru is our president and Raila is also our leader.”

Murkomen said the senators should unify Kenyans rather than bringing division to the marginalised counties.

“Why would Senate be a House where we cannot bring unity to the country?” he posed.

“We need to come to a conclusion so that those who are losing, lose a little money and vice versa.”

Noting that the Senate cannot close its eyes on the happenings in the Senate, Murkomen said senators should have listened to Siaya Senator James Orengo last week.

“We cannot close our eyes. I wish we listened to Orengo last week. If we look at the formula there are people who are going to lose and we have the confidence to say that Kenya is about the population?” he said.

“Lets give reason and opportunity to all.”

Vihiga Senator George Khaniri supported the adjournment saying that it will give senators ample time to ensure equity.

“I want to plead here, what enjoyment will you have when there is food on your table and your brother is starving,” he said.

“Any fomula must ensure that no county loses what they already have.”

But Kiambu Senator Kimani Wamatangi said, “I oppose this debate Mr speaker. Do we resolve by extending the gridlock or we resolve it now?”

“At this point and time, the way forward is to deal with the problem at hand and dispose of it.”

Wamatangi said counties do not have money to run.

“I do not think that it is helpful to adjourn this process. Continuing with the debate does not mean that we are ignoring millions of people in this country,” he said.

“We proceed with the discussion and have a resolution and ensure services are delivered in this country.”

One of the formulas whose debate was to resume on Tuesday afternoon following last week’s adjournment was sponsored by Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja.

The formula ensures no county gets less money than the amount they received in the last financial year.

Some 18 counties will lose Sh17 billion in the formula proposed by the committee chaired by Kirinyaga Senator Charles Kibiru.

Senators from the 18 counties have opposed the formula, saying it will perpetuate marginalisation of their areas, and managed to convince seven others to back their agenda.

The losing counties are from less populous regions of Coast, Northeastern, lower Eastern and parts of the Rift Valley.

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