The high hopes of unlocking the highly debated revenue-sharing formula deadlocked in the Senate now rest in the hands of a 12-member team.
The team faces a hard task of balancing a pierce through many amendments that has since been fronted on the Finance and Budget Committee’s report on the revenue allocation formula.
Members of the committee include Mohammed Mahamud (Mandera), Stewart Madzayo (Kilifi), Kipchumba Murkomen (Elgeyo Marakwet), Mutula Kilonzo Jnr (Makueni). Others are Susan Kihika (Nakuru), Samson Cherararkey (Nandi), Moses Kajwang (Homa Bay), Anuar Loitiptip (Lamu), Moses Wetangula (Bungoma), John Nderitu (Laikipia) and Ledama Ole Kina (Narok).
This team was formed late on Monday night after a daylong drama in the Senate as it held its meeting. Senate clerk Jeremiah Nyegenye and Parliamentary Budget Office head Martin Masinde were directed to personally lead the technical support to the consensus-building team.
The panel will work tirelessly burning their midnight oils to deliver a neutral report that would receive a unanimous vote in the Senate next week as senators are tired and want to close ranks.
Some of the amendments being pushed are alleged to be lacking the necessary technical simulations from the twin offices and it is what posed a stalemate over arbitrary figures. The committee, which will be co-chaired by Bungoma Senator Moses Wetangula and his Nairobi Senator counterpart Johnson Sakaja, is expected to work diligently to resolve the standoff.
Speaker Kenneth Lusaka had initially ruled for a 10-man team to be formed to unlock the stalemate three weeks ago but some senators branded ‘Team Kenya’ rejected the mediation bid. Monday’s formation of the committee exposed the senators’ rare unity to resolve the controversial matter after three of their colleagues were on Monday arrested hours to the debate.
Steve Lelegwe (Samburu), Christopher Langat (Bomet) and Cleophas Malala (Kakamega) were nabbed by detectives on Monday after a long night of police siege at their Nairobi homes.
It has been established that the committee resolved to consult individual members proposing amendments as well as the Commission on Revenue Allocation (CRA) and other technical experts before drawing a final revenue allocation formula. They also intend to reach out to key political players through the House leadership to build consensus ahead of the unanimous vote.
Siaya Senator James Orengo said the committee’s report will be tabled at a, ‘Kamukunji,’ an informal sitting – chaired by the speaker before it is tabled on the floor or the House. The Finance committee’s formula has already been amended by the Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja and Meru Senator Mithika Linturi’s amendments.
Nominated Senator Petronilla Were had further amendments which provided for the status quo to remain and that the CRA formula to be rolled out when the equitable shareable revenue is raised to Sh348 billion and this was the governments leaning side.
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