As the immediate former Chairman of the Council of Governors (CoG) and the Governor of Turkana County, I unequivocally support CoG’s decision to seek for legal advisory from the Supreme Courton the issue of division of revenue between counties and the National Government.
After the failure of mediation attempts between the Senate and the National Assembly, I believe that the buck stops with President Uhuru Kenyatta after he un-procedurally approved the Budget and Appropriations Act 2019for the National Government before the Division of Revenue Bill 2019 is enacted into law as is required by the constitution. The President has contributed to the creation of the financial crisis which threatens to grind to a halt service delivery by County Governments and holds the key to unlocking the impasse.
The success of the President’s Big Four Agenda is reliant on County Governments ability to provide sustained and effective service delivery. It is a shared understanding between both levels of government that intergovernmental coordination is crucial in implementation of the Big Four. However, the impact of this deadlock will be far reaching as counties will be forced to shelve implementation of their development plans and will be unable to deliver services to the public.
The difference of Sh17 billion from the Sh335 billion recommended by the Commission on Revenue Allocation (CRA) and the Sh310 billion approved by the National Assembly means counties will be forced to reduce budgetary allocations to key sectors such as healthcare, food security and other infrastructural development that are part of the Big Four.
The additional funds demanded by Governors and as recommended by CRA is a small amount out of the huge Sh3.02 trillion national budget. This I believe is a small sacrifice for the rural communities of Kenya who are far from the center and whose access of government services is heavily reliant on the smooth running of devolved units.
As we wait for an outcome from the apex court, it’s my hope that the President will take charge of the situation and have the National Assembly and Treasury follow the law byincorporating recommendations by both the CRA and Senate.
H.E Josphat Nanok
Governor, Turkana County