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BY NAMULONGO PETER,NAIROBI,18TH SEPT,2020-ODM leader Raila Odinga has lauded efforts by President Uhuru to break the revenue-sharing stalemate whose resultant cash-crunch threatened to cripple county governments.
In a statement on Friday, Raila also took a swipe at ‘populist politicians’ who he accused of turning the revenue sharing debate into a county against county contest.
“The President’s intervention helped the country break the unfortunate stalemate that was also being used by populist politicians to profile revenue sharing as a county against county or region against region contest over national resources, thus polarizing the nation,” the statement said.
He added: “In the end however, the nation has won over vested partisan political interests”.
Raila also seized the moment to thank the Senators for “taking advantage of the opportunity created by the President’s offer of additional funding and ending the protracted stalemate”.
At the same time, he highlighted key lessons that Kenya picked from the standoff, among them; the need to create equal opportunities for Kenyans, war on graft and an increment to the share of revenue to counties.
“Unless this is done, and particularly with rapidly growing educated youth population, we will have more vicious fights, as we strive to share poverty rather than prosperity,” Raila added.
Further, the former Prime Minister expressed optimism that the BBI team is likely to give a nod on a proposed increment of revenue to counties from 15% to 35%.
On corruption, Raila said it is time for Kenya to create a robust mechanism to punish those found culpable while getting rid of cartels and syndicates.
He also noted that all the issues that are currently affecting the country have been addressed in the BBI report.
“All the issues it brought to the fore are at the centre of the BBI agenda for the country. With the stalemate now out of the way, it is my expectation that the country can now refocus on the envisaged reform agenda that aims to catalyze productivity by making all Kenyans producers rather than mere consumers and dependents, increase revenue to counties and fight corruption,” he added.