Council of governors chairman Wycliffe Oparanya addressing reporters outside the Supreme Court after filing case with the court on July 15th. www.businesstoday.co.ke
Council of governors chairman Wycliffe Oparanya addressing reporters outside the Supreme Court after filing case with the court on July 15th. Photo/Kevin Namunwa

The council of governors accompanied by hired traditional dancers on Monday 15th July marched from Intercontinental hotel to the Supreme Court in a protest.

The governors were moving to court following a row with the national government over sharing of revenue that has threatened to stall services in the devolved units. The council managed to table their issue with the Supreme Court and the case is to be heard on Friday 19th July.

The members of the mediation committee formed by the speakers of the National Assembly and the senate to develop a consensus over the dispute on the Division of Revenue Bill seems to have hit a dead end. The senate and the national assembly came up with different figures for the amount due to counties in the 2019/20 financial year.

The council of governors had proposed that counties be allocated Ksh 344 billion but were forced to settle on  Ksh 335 as the figure they agreed on with the commission of revenue allocation. The National assembly initially proposed Ksh 310 billion but revised its proposition and came up with a Ksh 316 billion figure while the senate insisted that the law must be respected and counties allowed to get their due share.

The Ksh 310 billion the national assembly had initially proposed is in line with National Treasury’s proposals. The senate came to amend their proposal later putting the amount counties should receive from the national government at Ksh 327 billion.

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The National Treasury had proposed a reduction in county equitable share of KSh 310 billion from KSh 314 billion on account of under performance of revenue that resulted to a downward adjustment of the forecasted revenue for the 2018/19 financial year.

It is this proposal on the reduction of the figure that the council of governors has moved to court to block. The council argues that the move has no legal basis since it was not approved by Parliament and that it contravenes the Division of Revenue Act 2018 which provides that any shortfall in revenue should be borne by the national government.

Speaking to reporters after submitting their case to the supreme court, the chairman of the council of governors Wycliffe Oparanya said that he is satisfied with how the Court has responded to the matter.

“The frustration that comes along with the failure of the senate and the national assembly to come to a consensus about the distribution of revenue bill is what brings us to the Supreme Court,” the Kakamega county governor noted, “We are happy that the supreme court has given this issue the urgency that it requires because the mention will be on the 19th.”

The council of governors asks the court to clarify on the consequence of failure by the National Assembly and the Senate to agree on a version of the division of revenue bill. The council also seeks to know whether the National assembly can lawfully consider and pass the appropriate act without finalizing the division of revenue.

The case will be mentioned on Friday 19th July, 2019.

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