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More parties join governors' petition over county funds

Friday July 19 2019

Governors

Governors addressing the media outside the Supreme Court in Nairobi on July 19, 2019. PHOTO | DENNIS ONSONGO | NATION MEDIA GROUP  

MAUREEN KAKAH
By MAUREEN KAKAH
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More parties are seeking to join the governors’ case over the dispute on the Division of Revenue Bill, 2019 at the Supreme Court.

The Commission on Revenue Allocation, the Law Society of Kenya, the Katiba Institute, county assemblies, the Controller of Budget and speakers of both the National Assembly and the Senate on Friday expressed an interest to join the legal battle filed earlier this week.

MANY GROUPS

While appearing before Chief Justice David Maraga, the parties presented their request to join the suit.

State lawyer Emmanuel Bitta, who is representing the Attorney General in the case, told the top court that because that several other parties want to participate in the case, he will raise an objection on the capacity of parties allowed to be involved in the suit.

But the other parties together with the judge indicated that the matter before the top court was open.

CJ Maraga ruled that all parties should file documents seeking to join the petition by 4pm on Monday. He set mention of the case for Tuesday next week.

The CJ also indicated that if parties will be ready when the matter comes for a mention on Tuesday, the hearing could proceed on Wednesday.

On Monday, the Council of Governors together with all the 47 county governments filed an advisory reference at the Supreme Court.

According to the county bosses, devolution is not possible without fiscal support from the national government and that counties face the risk of dying since the former is not committed to implementing constitutional provisions of devolution.

Through lawyers Peter Wanyama, Fred Ngatia and Issa Mansur, they argue that the suit will help in giving clarity regarding the financing of county governments and the operational space for administrative and legislative action on the same.