Inside Politics

Governors head to Senate over funds

Friday, February 23rd, 2024 05:50 | By
Council of Governors chairperson Anne Waiguru before a Senate’s standing committee on Finance and Budget in Nairobi, yesterday. PHOTO/K/kenna claude

Two days after telling President William Ruto to his face they would accept nothing less than Sh450 billion as an equitable share, governors yesterday took their case to the Senate.

Led by Council of Governors (CoG) chairperson Anne Waiguru, the county chiefs took turns to explain why they need Sh450 billion as equitable share as opposed to Sh391 billion being proposed by the National Treasury in the Division of Revenue between the National and County governments.

The governors told the Senate Finance Committee they are not demanding any new funds from the National government; instead, they are simply asking for monies to cater for functions already devolved.

Revenue increment

They maintained the projected ordinary revenue is set to grow by 15 per cent which is an absolute revenue increment of Sh376.9 billion.

On Tuesday, the governors rejected the government’s offer of Sh390 billion during a meeting chaired by President Ruto. They told Ruto they would only accept Sh450 billion as equitable share to counties.

“The impasse went on for a while. Governors now want the senate to stand with them when the matter is presented for consideration,” said a source who was at the meeting in Naivasha.

Treasury, however, maintained that it has no money and will not commit itself to the amount demanded by the governors.

In response, President Ruto told the governors that the government is committed to strengthening devolution to enhance service delivery to the people.

Accept offer

“You should understand that the granary is not limitless,” Ruto told the tensed governors, asking them to understand the situation the government was in and accept what was on offer.

“It is important when there is a give and take among all parties,” Ruto told the governors, a position Chief Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi also backed.

 Governors on the other hand maintained that the Commission of Revenue Allocation (CRA) recommendations are obligatory as they are highly technical in nature and that any deviations, therefore must be rationalised on the basis of the objective criteria set out in article 203(1) of the Constitution.

Ruto said the Kenya Kwanza administration is working with all governors, irrespective of their political affiliation, to spur inclusive growth and development.

“Let me repeat for the umpteenth time that at a personal level and this administration, we support devolution 100 per cent,” he said.

“You should never have any doubt as to our support for devolution. You know there is pull and push, which politics is all about but my support for devolution remains intact,” Ruto added.

Strengthen partnership

Ruto added that he had invited the leadership of CoG to the National Executive Retreat to strengthen the partnership between the two levels of government.

Yesterday, Waiguru told the committee chaired by Mandera Senator Ali Roba that out of Sh376.9 billion, only a paltry Sh5.7 billion, representing 5.6 per cent is being added to the counties baseline allocation of Sh385 billion under the Budget Policy Statement (BPS).

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