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Governors differ with CRA on county cash allocations

By , People Daily Digital
Tuesday, October 19th, 2021 00:00 | 2 mins read
Council of Governors chair Martin Wambora (centre) accompanied by Narok Governor Samuel Tunai (left) and his Vihiga counterpart Wilber Ottichilo addresses the media in Nairobi, yesterday. Photo/PD/GERALD ITHANA

A fresh standoff looms between Governors and the Commission on Revenue Allocation (CRA) over a proposal by the latter to retain county allocation at Sh370 billion in the 2022/23 financial year.

The commission through a proposal in the draft Division of Revenue Bill, 2022, currently in Parliament wants the county equitable share of revenue be stagnated because of tough economic times.

CRA argued that slow economic growth, constrained fiscal framework, the need to contain the public debt, financing and providing security for the 2022 General Election informed its recommendation.

This has, however, not gone down well with county chiefs who under their umbrella Council of Governors (CoG) have protested the move.

Through CoG chairman Martin Wambora, governors have rejected the proposal instead arguing that the funds must be increased. 

“Following in-depth discussions on the issue, we wish to reiterate that, we reject in totality the proposal by CRA that recommends a non-increment of the County Equitable Share which is Sh370 billion,” he said.

He accused the commission of plotting to stall operations within the counties stating that governors would not take anything less than Sh751.45 billion in equitable share. 

“To safeguard devolution and to ensure optimal implementation of devolved functions by County Governments, the Council proposes additional funding of Sh381.45 bringing the total allocation to counties to Sh751.45 billion,” he said.

Improved allocation

Wambora said CoG’s position is informed by the Constitution of Kenya Amendment Bill, 2020 which recommends that counties be allocated not less than 35 per cent of all the revenue collected by the national government.

“As you are aware, the bill had a lot of goodwill as it was passed in both houses of Parliament and in 45 out of the 47 County Assemblies,” he added.

In the current financial year, all the 47 county governments were allocated Sh370 billion in equitable revenue with the allocations following a protracted debate in the Senate, marked by standoffs and arrests over the third generation revenue sharing formula.

Senators had clashed over the formula with those whose counties were losing revenue opposing it taking the intervention of President Uhuru Kenyatta to unlock the stalemate. 

Uhuru had pledged to increase the allocation to Sh370 to ensure no county losses.

Wambora, at the same time, revealed that the COG Leadership and the Royal Danish Embassy held a consultative meeting last month in which it was agreed that counties will receive additional funding of Sh 1.2 billion in the DANIDA PHC Programme.

“The program is expected to support the gradual phase out of the grant and strengthening of level 1, community health units.

The signing of the Bilateral Agreement with the National Treasury and inclusion of amounts in the county budgets will be done by November 2021,” he said.

On bilateral HealthCare Partnership between the Kenya and the UK, Wambora noted that an MoU was signed between the government of Kenya and the UK on workforce collaboration in healthcare aimed at facilitating Kenyan healthcare professionals to work for the National Health Services in the UK and Ireland.

He observed that the Kenya-UK Health Alliance was established to deliver collaborative Bi-lateral programmes in healthcare between the two countries. 

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