The failure by Senate on Thursday to adopt the third basis formula for sharing revenue among counties has elicited mixed reactions among leaders and civil society groups in Nakuru County.
This is the fifth time the Senate has failed to agree on the third-generation formula that will determine how the counties share Sh316.5 billion allocated to them in the 2020-21 budget.
Responding to the Thursday scenario that took place at the Senate, Nakuru’s Kabazi Ward MCA Dr.Peter Mbae said the Senate is playing around with devolution matters.
He says the formula revenue sharing is clear and will address all the challenges that the counties have been facing.
Mbae has told off Senate adding that the formula was developed by the Commission on Revenue Allocation (CRA) and forwarded to the Senate for consideration last year hence there cannot be any excuse.
“The Senate has no excuse and that is why we are calling on President to call the House to order so that counties cannot suffer anymore. We have been very lenient with Senate. If the President called to order the Senate on the issue of leadership then he can he call to order to save devolution.” said Mbae.
The new formula is a radical shift as it expands the parameters for the shareable revenue. It puts the health index at 17 per cent, agriculture 10 per cent, county population 18 per cent, basic share index 20 per cent, land area eight per cent and rural access at four per cent.
The others are poverty 14 per cent, urban households five per cent, fiscal effort (revenue collection) two per cent and prudent use of public resources at two per cent.
While lauding the formula for trying to address the challenges that were there before such as some counties being marginalized, the MCA questioned why the Senate was delaying the process.
He says the formula that was presented to the Senate in November last year has factored in key issues such as Health, Agriculture, and population.
“We have been historically marginalized as a county despite our huge contribution. We have higher generation of revenue and that means higher services are demanded by the citizens and that is what the census report came to cure” said Mbae.
Mbae says there should be no negotiations when it comes to service delivery at counties and that the formula on revenue allocation to counties was developed by experts who had no political alignments.
He maintains that the National Government should stop using COVID-19 pandemic as an excuse to deny counties funds.
Similar sentiments echoed by Masese Kemunche from Centre for Enhancing Democracy and Good Governance (CEDGG).
Masese says, “Whatever is happening at the senate is a sad state of affairs.It has compromised service delivery at counties.”
He has appealed to Senate to stop drama and quickly resolve the impasse.
According to the Division of Revenue Act, 2020, which equitably allocates the revenue generated at the national level between the national purse and counties, Sh316.5 billion has been allocated to the devolved units in the 2020/21 financial year.
According to Article 217 (1) of the Constitution, once every five years, the Senate must determine the basis for allocating funds among the counties.
This means that, until the formula is in place, the Senate cannot consider the County Allocation of Revenue Bill, which shares funds equitably among the 47 counties.