President Uhuru Kenyatta on Thursday 9th July expressed his disappointment towards the newly confirmed Jubilee Party Senate leadership.
While assenting to six bills presented to him at State House, President Uhuru reprimanded senators including the Majority Leader Samuel Poghisio and Johnson Sakaja over the difficulties and delays surrounding the new revenue sharing formula.
After a tense Senate meeting, Poghisio wrote to Speaker Kenneth Lusaka requesting for a special sitting to discuss the formula next week Monday, July 13 without delay.
President Uhuru explained that the delay in passing the bill on revenue sharing formula could push the country into a constitutional crisis. He noted that it had been agreed the formula be passed but its implementation be suspended to allow further discussions indicating that senators had backed down on the agreement.
The heat was turned on senators with senior house positions who opposed the bill among them Deputy Majority Leader Fatuma Dullo, Deputy Whip Farhiya Ali Haji, Kisii’s Sam Ongeri (Public Accounts Committee chair) and Sakaja who chairs the Labour committee.
“They risk being de-whipped. He decided today to command Poghisio to call a special sitting on Monday to discuss the formula,” a source quoted by a local publication reveals.
The controversial bill has pitted Senators against each other as those from less populated areas especially the Northern Part of Kenya arguing that they stand to lose in the new formula. Counties were allocated over Ksh300 billion in the 2020/21 financial year.
“The one-man-one-vote-one-shilling reasoning should be the formula to allocate resources because you cannot use land as a determinant for resource allocation since money is used by people not land,” argued Kakamega Senator Malala, whose county has 1.867 million people.
Senate Majority Whip Irungu Kang’ata stated that President Kenyatta had tried intervening on the stalemate.
“The government has made several concessions to those aggrieved to this formula. Initially, the formula would have caused some counties to lose money if implemented this financial year.
“The government understands this would have caused great hardships. Again, the government does not want any senator deemed to have superintendent loss of revenue in their county,” Kang’ata noted.