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Governors set to elect new council leaders today

Monday January 14 2019

Council of Governors

Council of Governors Chairman Josphat Nanok, flanked by his colleagues, addresses a press conference on October 25, 2018 in Nairobi. The council will hold elections on Monday, January 14, 2018. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

VALENTINE OBARA
By VALENTINE OBARA
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The Council of Governors is on Monday expected to elect a new team of executive leaders at a time debate is rife concerning equitable division of revenue to counties by the national government.

Turkana Governor Josphat Nanok is seeking re-election as chairman of the council after completing his one-year term.

Other top contenders for the top seat are Ms Anne Waiguru (Kirinyaga), Mr Wycliffe Oparanya (Kakamega), Prof Anyang’ Nyong’o (Kisumu), Mr Salim Mvurya (Kwale) and Mr Jackson Mandago (Uasin Gishu).

The council will also elect a vice chair, council whip and chairs of committees.

'CRA FORMULA'

The new executive team will take charge as several counties oppose the new formula used by the Commission for Revenue Allocation (CRA) in disbursing funds to devolved governments.

Some leaders argue that the formula does not take into consideration key factors such as amount of resources contributed by a county to the exchequer, population and poverty levels.

However, the CRA insists that its formula provides an equitable distribution of funds to each of the 47 counties as it also considered unique needs in key sectors such as water, health, agriculture and infrastructure among others for every region.

Concerning complaints that CRA did not factor in population increase over the years in its latest allocations, Commissioner Peter Kimuyu said they had no choice but to use the currently available data until new one is provided by relevant government agencies.

The Kenya National Bureau of Statistics is set to carry out a national population and housing census later this year.

“We have constitutional deadlines that we must meet and we don’t generate data as a commission. We go by the data that is available from credible institutions such as the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics,” said Mr Kimuyu in an interview on KTN TV Sunday night.

He added: “But we realise that there will be another census and when that happens of course we will apply the new data but it doesn’t change the framework.”

'KEENLY WATCHED'

The election which will be held after the county chiefs failed to reach a consensus last week will be watched keenly by key stakeholders, among them the national government and development partners.

For the national government, a team that will enhance cooperation between the two levels of government in achieving President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Big Four agenda will come in handy.

But following the March 9, 2018 handshake between President Kenyatta and opposition leader Raila Odinga, the national government has had an easy ride penetrating areas such as Kisumu and Mombasa counties to implement development projects which could have otherwise been met with resistance prior to the truce.

The national government also had a fairly smooth relationship with the Nanok-led team as compared to previous teams that were led by former Bomet Governor Isaac Ruto and former Meru Governor Peter Munya.

It was during Mr Munya’s leadership that the council signed a Sh38 billion medical equipment leasing deal which has come back to haunt the county chiefs who complain that they have to fork out Sh200 million annually to the private suppliers.

On the other hand, former governor Ruto often clashed with the national government fighting for an increase in allocation of funds to devolved units.​