Key Ruto ally blamed for new revenue formula standoff

By Hillary Mageka On Mon, 10 Aug, 2020 14:20 | 2 mins read
Senate Speaker
Senate Speaker Kenneth Lusaka. PHOTO | FILE

Senate leaders have fingered a close and key ally of Deputy President William Ruto of being the mastermind behind the stiff opposition to the new county revenue sharing formula.

Senators have been unable to pass the formula that has been approved by the Commission for Revenue Allocation (CRA) despite proposals to amend some of the contentious elements.

Now Senate Speaker Kenneth Lusaka and Majority Leader Samuel Poghisio have accused Murkomen, who is a close ally of Deputy William Ruto, of mischief in the ensuing deadlock.

Murkomen, who was dramatically ousted in a Jubilee purge in June, is an influential member of a new grouping dubbed Team Kenya that is opposing the new revenue sharing formula.

Speaker Lusaka and Poghisio claim that Murkomen has failed to send a team to the mediation table despite his strong sentiments.

Many of those in Team Kenya are senators from counties that stand to lose up to billions of shillings should the new formula pass.

The group is led by senators Johnson Sakaja (Nairobi), Mutula Kilonzo Jr (Makueni) and Ledama Ole Kina.

In an interview with People Daily, Lusaka and Poghisio claimed that Murkomen did not come with clean hands when he sought an adjournment of the motion last week on the scheduled vote, deferring the decision on the formula for the seventh time.

“When they sought for adjournment last week, the idea was to build consensus and come up with one position that was to be presented to the House for debate next Tuesday. One side gave names and we were prepared to carry on with the negotiations but the other side (Murkomen’s side) did not, this means that the consensus-building we were looking for does not apply,” Lusaka said.

“In the circumstances, the matter will come up on Tuesday, and just like we have handled other matters in the Senate a vote will be taken on the amendments, thereafter a vote on the committee report will also be taken,” the Speaker added.

Lusaka said that senators had lost an opportunity to reconcile on critical issues during the adjournment period, a failure he blamed on the Murkomen group.

On Sunday, the Senate Majority Whip Irungu Kangata while appearing on Punchline, said a meeting with senators had been planned ahead of the Tuesday vote.

However, the meeting was scuttled after a phone call from a top government official forced the cancellation of the informal meeting.

The row over the new revenue sharing formula is on how to share the Sh316 billion allocated to counties by the National Treasury.

Are you a Kenyan in the diaspora with a story to tell? Do you know someone of Kenyan origin doing something remarkable in the diaspora? Do you have an opinion that you would like to share? Email us at [email protected]