President Uhuru Kenyatta on Tuesday morning held a meeting with Senate leadership ahead of today’s crucial vote on the third-basis for revenue sharing among counties.
The President hosted Senate Majority Leader Samuel Poghisio, his deputy Fatuma Dullo, Majority Whip Irung’u Kangáta and his deputy Fariya Ali and Minority Leader James Orengo, Minority Whip Mutula Kilonzo Jnr and his deputy Beatrice Kwamboka at State House, Nairobi, probably to craft a winning strategy to avoid another defeat.
However, Kakamega Senator Cleophas Malala, who is the Deputy Minority Leader was not invited. The meeting was held even as Senate Speaker Kenneth Lusaka chaired a crucial Senate Business Committee to plan ahead of the vote which had seen the House divided into two opposing camps.
For a record ninth time, the Senate has previously failed to make a decision on the protracted third basis of sharing revenue among counties.
Senators’ indecisiveness has adversely affected service delivery in the 47 devolved units, plunging counties in a near financial crisis.
The stalemate over the formula has stalled the passage of the County Allocation of Revenue Bill (CARA), 2020, legislation that outlines how the Sh316.5 billion allocated to the counties in the 2020-21 budget should be shared.
As the House reconvenes for the high stakes meeting, the lawmakers seems to have run into headwinds as they failed to hold a Kamukunji as ordered by Speaker Kenneth Lusaka.
This even as two warring camps are still pulling the strings towards their ends. Senators whose counties will gain have vowed to aggressively fight for the adoption of the new method, while those from marginalized areas insist the status quo must remain.
The meeting according to Lusaka was ostensibly to strike a balance ahead of this afternoon’s sittings after a 12-member committee established by the Senate to develop consensus on the issue of the formula failed to strike a compromise.