Parliament and the National Treasury have been asked to speedily resolve the revenue allocation stalemate over funds meant to be shared among counties in the next financial year.
In an informal meeting involving Governors, Controller of Budget, Commission on Revenue Allocation (CRA), Parliament and Senate chaired by Deputy President William Ruto, at his Karen office, Nairobi, today, a resolution was made that a solution over the issue must be made by Thursday this week.
Addressing the press after the meeting, Dr Ruto said there was need for Treasury and Parliament to move with speed with a view to solving the contentious issue within the shortest time possible to pave way for service delivery at the counties.
“This is a matter of great concern to the country. It must be solved within the shortest time possible. Counties need the Division of Revenue Act passed for Senate to pass allocation of revenues to facilitate transaction of business at the counties,” said Dr Ruto.
The Deputy President said he was impressed at the manner in which the stakeholders were engaging in cordial discussions with a view to attaining lasting solution to the stalemate.
“I call upon all the responsible arms of the Government to provide support to solve the problem as soon as possible,” said Dr Ruto.
He reiterated the Government’s commitment to ensuring the success of devolution, saying it had transformed lives of millions of Kenyans.
“We have demonstrated our commitment beyond any reasonable doubt that we fully support devolution. We will continue to work together in improving the lives of all Kenyans across the country,” said Dr Ruto.
Chairman of Council of Governors Wycliffe Oparanya said he was optimistic that the stalemate will soon be unlocked to enable activities at the counties go on uninterrupted.
“We held a meeting today chaired by the Deputy President; negotiations are ongoing to solve the stalemate. A solution must be found by this Thursday,” said Mr Oparanya.
Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich assured the meeting that no one had any intention of frustrating devolution as claimed by a section of leaders following the stalemate over the revenue allocation funds.
He said the current stalemate should not be construed to mean that the Government does not support devolution, adding that Treasury was only working within the available resources on matters of the budget.
“We are sure an amicable solution will be found to the current stalemate,” said Mr Rotich.
The leaders resolved that another informal meeting to be chaired by the Deputy President involving Parliament, Senate, Treasury and CRA will be held on Wednesday aimed at coming up with lasting solution to the problem.
Present were National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale, his Senate counterpart Kipchumba Murkomen, Senate Majority Whip Susan Kihika and CRA chairperson Jane Kiringai.
Others were Governors Patrick Khaemba (Trans-Nzoia), Mwangi wa Iria (Muranga), Mutahi Kahiga (Nyeri), Lee Kinyanjui (Nakuru), Anyang Nyong’o (Kisumu), Ali Roba (Mandera), Wycliffe Wangamati (Bungoma) and Muthomi Njuki (Tharaka Nithi).