In Summary
  • The Senate earlier passed its own version, which allocated Sh335 billion to counties. Although the figure was recommended by the Commission on Revenue Allocation, it was the subject of mediation.
  • The Constitution provides that at least 15 percent of the latest audited revenue of the national government as passed by the National Assembly shall be allocated to counties.

The National Assembly has passed the republished Division of Revenue Bill with Sh316.6 billion as equitable allocation to county governments, signalling another round of mediation with the Senate.

The bill will be tabled at the Senate for concurrence before it’s submitted to the President for assent in line with the Supreme Court advisory of 2014.

The Supreme Court ruled it was an ordinary bill, which must be considered by the two Houses of Parliament.

The bill was rushed through as MPs accused the Senate of occasioning the failure of the older version during mediation last month.

WAY FORWARD

The Senate later passed its own version, which allocated Sh335 billion to counties. Although the figure was recommended by the Commission on Revenue Allocation (CRA), it was the subject of mediation.

On Thursday, National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi notified the House about the receipt of the Senate bill.

Counties need the Division of Revenue Act to pass their respective finance bills to enable them collect revenue. The delay in having the law in place could lead to a cash crunch.

Mr Muturi is now expected to commit the Senate Bill to the Budget and Appropriation Committee chaired by Kikuyu MP Kimani Ichung’wah for advice.

PRIORITIES

On Thursday, MPs were unanimous that allocation of revenue between the national and county governments should not involve the courts. Their sentiments were informed by the case filed by the Council of Governors (CoG) and the Senate.

They want an interpretation on how far recommendations of CRA should be taken into consideration by the Treasury in allocating funds.

“One of the key pillars in budget-making is the element of equity, which means dividing what you have with what you need. National debt and national interest come first with allocations to counties ranked number seven,” Majority Leader Aden Duale said.

The Constitution provides that at least 15 percent of the latest audited revenue of the national government as passed by the National Assembly shall be allocated to counties.