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Kalonzo Musyoka

Kalonzo urges Senators to hold dialogue over revenue impasse

Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka wants the Equalisation Fund increased to compensate counties that might lose money in the contentious revenue sharing formula. Despite some disagreements on Friday when the senators decided not to meet to talk

Currently, at least 0.5 percent of the revenue collected by the national government is reserved for 14 marginalized counties.

They are Garissa, Isiolo, Kilifi, Kwale, Lamu, Mandera, Marsabit, Narok, Samburu, Tana River, Turkana, Taita Taveta, Wajir, and West Pokot counties.

Senators are yet to agree on the revenue formula, with the lawmakers drifting even further apart on the proposal.

Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja’s Team Kenya is supporting amendments by Meru Senator Mithika Linturi which largely reduces the county share of the revenue from Sh316.5 billion to about Sh260 billion.

Jubilee leadership in the House led by Whip Irungu Kang’ata (Muranga Senator) has maintained its push for the ‘one vote, one shilling’ mantra.

The latter holds that the impasse can only be resolved by mediation even as Murkomen – Sakaja team are seeking to pass their amendments on Tuesday.

As the machinations head to a Kamukunji on Monday, Kalonzo encouraged Senators to embrace dialogue to avert further suffering in counties.

The Wiper leader thus wants the Equalisation Fund Act amended to increase the share from the current 0.5 percent.

We urge a speedy enactment of the subsidiary legislation on the Equalisation Fund both in National Assembly and the Senate to make sure that the funds are significantly increased. 

“The Constitution 2010 guarantees equity of resources and thus the Senate should work out a mechanism that will help the country move forward,”  Kalonzo said in a statement on Saturday.

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“Senate leaders must embrace dialogue…intolerance is the worst form of dictatorship,” Kalonzo said when he received Covid-19 donations to his foundation.

Senate Speaker Kenneth Lusaka on Friday said he was yet to settle on mediation as a way out as only one side of the divide had provided names of persons to take part in the talks.

Kalonzo joins the list of leaders who have pushed for a win-win formula in the row which has seen staged a cash crisis in the county’s devolved units.

ODM leader Raila Odinga wants the process delayed until proper revenues are allocated to counties and a win-win scenario realized.

He said there should be no question of winners or losers but a formula that does not disadvantage any county.