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Blow to counties as Uhuru rules out additional funds

President Uhuru Kenyatta has asked county governors to make do with the available funds that they have been allocated saying the country does not have more money. Speaking in Murang’a during the memorial service of the mother to former Gatanga MP Peter Kenneth, the head of state said the current stalemate on division of revenue will not be solved by additional funds to the counties.

“we cannot make money, we cannot print money. The only person who can print moey is de la rue, the rest of us must work hard to get money. Governors must use what we have” Uhuru said. He added “if parlaiment allocates more money to the counties they will have to reduce their salaries to facilitate that, i dont have money, sina pesa”.

The Council of Governors has moved to the Supreme Court to seek legal redress. They want the Supreme Court to declare whether MPs can deviate from recommendations by the Commission on Revenue Allocation on the shareable revenue.

Governors have firmed up a “monumental case” against President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Jubilee administration amid a protracted revenue sharing standoff.

Chief justice David Maraga has asked the two houses of parliament to try and solve the matter amicably out of court failure to which the highest court on land will deliberate on the matter and on 31st of July 2019.

MPs want the counties to be given Sh316 billion, up from the Sh310 billion they had approved. But senators want the devolved units to be given Sh327 billion.

With county governments staring at a complete shutdown without money two weeks into the new financial year, the county chiefs have launched one of the boldest and aggressive campaigns targeting the national government.

They accused the Kenyatta regime of presiding over a rogue National Assembly determined to suffocate devolution.

The governors outlined five points of contention that they want the Supreme Court to arbitrate.

They want the Supreme Court to determine the input of the Senate in protecting counties at the Legislature, the legality of the IFMIS system and the formula for allocation of grants.

The devolved units’ chiefs want the apex court to decide the legality of vote heads held by the national government yet relevant functions are devolved.

Further, they want the Supreme Court to pronounce itself on whether MPs can deviate from the recommendations by the Commission for Revenue Allocation on the shareable revenue.

The governors mobilised county assembly members to join Senate leaders in a symbolic protest march in Nairobi that culminated in the filing of the case at the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court asked the petitioners to submit written submissions within three days and serve the respondents before the case is mentioned on Friday, July 19.

It is unusual for governors, who are heads of devolved units to hold protests, but yesterday the over 30 governors, deputy governors, Speakers of county assemblies and dozens of MCAs held a procession from the Intercontinental Hotel to the Supreme Court.

 The county bosses were in an unfamiliar territory chanting “Haki Yetu (Our right) as they walked under tight security following the impasse on the Division of Revenue Bill 2019,

Parliament wants the 47 counties to be given Sh316 billion, up from the Sh310 billion they had approved while senators want the devolved units to be given Sh327 billion, a compromise from the Sh335.7 billion set by CRA.

The mediation between the senators and MPs collapsed, triggering the stalemate that now threatens to sink counties into a deeper financial crisis.

The governors accused the National Treasury of having joined the National Assembly in killing devolution by starving counties of resources.

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