President Uhuru Kenyatta on Tuesday, September 15, committed to raising next year’s counties budget by Ksh50 billion after meeting ODM Party leader Raila Odinga and the Council of Governors Chairman Wycliffe Oparanya at State House, Nairobi.
Uhuru had convened a leaders meeting to discuss the County revenue sharing stalemate at the Senate.
“The meeting resolved that depending on the financial performance of the economy, the Government will, in the next Financial Year (2021/22), endeavor to allocate an additional Kshs 50 billion to Counties as part of efforts to strengthen devolution,” read an excerpt of the press statement shared by State House Spokesperson Kanze Dena Mararo.
The Head of State urged Senators to urgently resolve the revenue sharing stalemate at the Senate so as to avoid disruption of service delivery in the Counties.
The Senate was represented at the meeting by Hon Samuel Poghisio (Majority Leader), Hon Irungu Kang’ata (Majority Chief Whip), James Orengo (Minority Leader) and Hon Fatuma Dullo (Deputy Majority Leader)
Also present were Senators Hon Beatrice Kwamboka (Nominated) and Hon Johnes Mwashushe Mwaruma (Taita Taveta).
On September 3, Governor Oparanya had announced a plan to shut down all 47 county governments over the revenue sharing formula impasse.
He went on to reiterate that counties were bearing the brunt of a lack of consensus on the Third Basis Revenue Allocation Formula.
Due to the effects of the stalemate, the governors went as far as threatening to sponsor a petition to dissolve the Senate over the stalemate.
On September 14, The Kenya Economic Report 2020, was released by the Kenya Institute for Public Policy Research and Analysis (KIPPRA), detailing the distribution and allocation of county revenue since 2014.
Counties with the highest poverty rates spent larger shares of their revenues on development between 2013/14 and 2018/19. Mandera, Turkana and Wajir, some of the poorest counties, spent 49.8%, 45.8% and 44.1%, respectively, on development.
The Public Finance Management (PFM) Act 2012 requires that at least 30% of spending should be on development over the medium-term. 59.6% of the counties (28 counties) did not meet this requirement.
Majority of these counties spent more than 50% of their revenue on personal emoluments, with Nairobi County leading at 57.4%, the report detailed.