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Adopt CRA report on revenue sharing, Raila Odinga urges Senate

Monday July 27 2020
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ODM leader Raila Odinga who has urged senators to adopt the report by the CRA in order to end the stalemate on the sharing of money from the national government to counties. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By MARTIN KINYANJUI

ODM leader Raila Odinga has urged senators to adopt the report by the Commission for Revenue Allocation (CRA) on the sharing of money from the national government to counties in order to end the current stalemate.

In a statement on Monday, Mr Odinga said the standoff is causing mistrust among Kenyans.

“It has also taken a dangerous ethnic undertone instead of being a level-headed debate on the nation's development trajectory,” Mr Odinga.

He observed that the formula being proposed by Senate, and which has resulted in a stand-off, is a variation of what was recommended by CRA.

Mr Odinga said that under the current circumstances, the recommendation on revenue sharing by CRA should be adopted for the next five years, saying this will ensure Kenyans are “better served”.

SENATE AMENDMENTS

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“The Senate made certain amendments to the CRA recommendation but equally retained the central principle that allocation must be about the population. Unfortunately, the institution has disagreed on its own amendments,” said the ODM leader.

He added that the concerns currently arising from the stand-off should be forwarded to CRA for consideration in its future recommendation.

“Having had a robust debate on this matter, the Senate should now allow the country move forward by adopting the CRA report while using the concerns voiced for future recommendations on revenue sharing,” Mr Odinga said.

TOUGH BALANCING ACT

President Uhuru Kenyatta is facing a tough balancing act to appease his restive Mt Kenya backyard while maintaining a good working relationship with his former political nemesis-turned-ally Raila Odinga over the contentious revenue sharing formula.

The Nation has established that senators allied to Mr Odinga and Mr Kenyatta were being whipped to back a compromise formula fronted by Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja in what might break the deadlock that has become the Uhuru-Raila handshake’s biggest test yet.

In the compromise, Mr Sakaja wants the 47 counties to receive the allocation made to them in the 2019/2020 financial year, with only the additional funds that were due to the devolved units subjected to the proposed formula.

REJECT BBI

On Sunday, Senate Majority Whip Irungu Kang’ata told the Nation that they do not see the need for the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) if the new formula fails.

“It’s true we shall not support BBI if this formula doesn’t pass. My Nasa brothers should learn the art of humility and waiting patiently for the larger cause instead of focusing on small gains,” Mr Kang’ata said.

The Senate meets Tuesday for the revenue-sharing debate and all eyes will be on the voting patterns from across the political divide among supporters of President Kenyatta, Mr Odinga and Deputy President William Ruto.

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