Governors protest MPs’ move to reduce funding to counties

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By PETER LEFTIE
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Governors on Tuesday protested a move by Members of Parliament (MPs) to reduce funding to county governments by Sh32 billion.

Council of Governors chairman Peter Munya criticised the MPs for allocating county governments Sh291 billion, way below the Sh331 billion recommended by the Commission on Revenue Allocation (CRA).

The allocation to counties, Mr Munya noted, was also less than the Sh299 billion proposed by the National Treasury.

“The Bill has disregarded both the National Treasury and Commission on Revenue Allocation recommendations without any justification. The Bill proposes an equitable share of Sh291 billion to county governments,” said Mr Munya, referring to the Division of Revenue Bill (DoRB) prepared by the National Assembly.

He said the Council of Governors had proposed an equitable share of Sh322.6 billion based on the growth rate of 6.72 per cent “as a factor of inflation added onto Sh14.2 billion which is the sharing ratio of 80:20 on the shareable revenue balance”.

He criticised the National Assembly for using the inflation rate to reduce the allocation to county governments yet it also affected the national government.

“If at all inflation rate shall be used to compute the counties’ shareable revenue, it should also apply to the national government,” said the Meru governor. Mr Munya noted that the Bill had failed to allocate funds for the construction of an additional 32,000km of roads across the country.

“The Bill has no allocation on the additional 32,000km of roads worth Sh8.4 billion of which an inter-agency task force had recommended for allocation to the county governments,” he said.

The money for roads, he said, was in addition to Sh319 million for the transferred library function, which had also not been factored in the allocation.

“For three consequent years, CRA has recommended money for roads, which has not been forthcoming. The Council of Governors will resist this unconstitutional move by the Kenya National Assembly to take down devolution and re-centralise services,” he warned.

Mr Munya also faulted the MPs for “mistakenly factoring the national government CDF as an issue of national interest”, hence reducing the allocations to both the county governments and the national government.

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