The IBEC meeting chaired by DP William Ruto on November 22, 2021 approved a Ksh370 billion allocation to counties.
The IBEC meeting chaired by DP William Ruto on November 22, 2021 approved a Ksh370 billion allocation to counties. [Photo/ Courtesy]

Four Cabinet Secretaries and several Governors allied to President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM Leader Raila Odinga on Monday, November 22 snubbed invites from Deputy President William Ruto to attend a meeting of the Inter-governmental Budget and Economic Council (IBEC).

Ruto, who chairs IBEC, had invited Cabinet Secretaries Ukur Yatani (National Treasury), Prof George Magoha (E*******n), Peter Munya (Agriculture), James Macharia (Transport, Infrastructure, Housing, Urban Development and Public Works) and Charles Keter (Devolution). Only Keter showed up.

While governors are usually represented at IBEC meetings by the Council of Governors (CoG) and their executive committee members for finance, the CoG had extended an invite to all the 47 county chiefs for the November 22 meeting. However, Laikipia Governor Ndiritu Muriithi was the only Uhuru-allied Governor present at the meeting. Kirinyaga’s Ann Waiguru who recently ditched Jubilee for Ruto’s United Democratic Alliance (UDA) also attended the meeting, as did Uasin Gishu Governor Jackson Mandago.

“The Intergovernmental Budget and Economic Council (IBEC) has written to the Council informing of a meeting scheduled for 22nd November 2021 at 9am to deliberate and build consensus on, among other agenda items, the Division of Revenue between the National Government and County Governments for FY 2022/23. The purpose of this letter is to inform you of the planned meeting which will take place at the Office of the Deputy President, Karen office, for your participation,” CoG acting CEO Mary Mwiti had noted in the letter to governors.

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Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya, ODM’s Deputy Party Leader, had earlier confirmed that he would not attend the meeting citing the rivalry between Ruto and Raila.

“I will not attend…The battle lines have been drawn and every one must keep to their lane. I am fully in Mr Raila Odinga’s camp. That is my lane and that is where I intend to remain, no matter what,” he stated in a November 14 interview.

Others who had been invited include the Auditor-General Nancy Gathungu, Controller of Budget Margaret Nyakang’o, Chief Registrar of the Judiciary Anne Amadi, chairperson of the Commission on Revenue Allocation Jane Kiringai, chairperson of the County Assemblies Forum Ndegwa Wahome, Clerk of the National Assembly Michael Sialai, and the acting chairman of the Inter-governmental Relations Technical Committee John Burugu.

With political battles heating up as Ruto trains his sights on the Presidency in 2022, it had been widely speculated that allies of Uhuru and Raila would snub the otherwise routine meeting due to the perceived message it could send out.

Some of the Cabinet Secretaries invited, such as Peter Munya, have openly taken on Ruto for going into campaign mode accusing him of failing in his duties as Deputy President.

“If you don’t respect your boss (President Uhuru Kenyatta), who else can you respect? That tells you the kind of leadership he will provide in case he becomes President,” Munya argues.

The IBEC meeting went on as planned, and approved a Ksh370 billion allocation to counties.

“The Treasury together with the Commission on Revenue Allocation (CRA) did recommend that the shareable revenue due to the counties be at the last financial year’s level of Ksh370 billion, after discussion and considering many factors including the Covid situation in the country, our debt levels as a nation and the fact that the other alternative measures for raising revenue are not tenable,” Ruto stated at a press briefing following the meeting.

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