Coast governors and senators have described the suggested method of sharing revenue among counties as unfair.
According to the Commission on Revenue Allocation (CRA), service delivery will be one of the parameters for determining the allocation of the Sh335 billion earmarked for the counties in the 2019/2020 financial year.
CRA Chairperson Jane Kiringai unveiled the proposals on Wednesday which, if effected, will see counties given cash based on a qualitative analysis of the need to better poor people’s lives and on past accountability.
Governors Hassan Joho (Mombasa) and Amason Kingi (Kilifi) said the proposals, now at the public participation stage, are unfair to the six Coast counties.
“There will be a drop from Sh7 billion to Sh6 billion while Nairobi gets Sh17 billion; how do you justify that?” Mr Joho asked.
“We will not allow that, and if we have to go to court or use political means, then we will to stop this move,” he said, adding that the formula will kill devolution.
Speaking at the burial of former Kilifi Deputy Governor Kenneth Kamto in Rabai, the governors said the formula goes against the spirit of devolution.
The county bosses threatened to move to court to have the proposal suspended.
“We need to rethink why we agitated for devolution, and why the narrative has started shifting. How do we justify the formula? We are asking senators to mobilise their colleagues to strengthen devolution,” Mr Joho said, adding that the government should, instead, devolve more resources to county governments.
“We will see what we can do politically and legally to ensure there is equity,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mr Kingi called for more consultation with all players before the proposals are implemented.
“If the formula is used, Kilifi will lose Sh1.5 billion, Mombasa Sh1.19, Lamu Sh1 billion, and Kwale Sh1 billion. This will paralyse development projects in this region. This goes against the purpose of devolution,” he said.
Mombasa Senator Mohamed Faki said the Senate has the mandate to come up with a formula that ensures equitable distribution of funds to the counties.
“It is still under discussion. The CRA is conducting public participation. The matter will come to the Senate and later, they will have to get people’s views. Marginalised counties will be affected,” he said.
The governors say the decision will jeopardise ongoing development projects that still need funds to be completed.
“As leaders from the Coast, we are against the proposed formula by CRA and it is important that key players be involved in the discussion before implementation of this proposal by the commission,” he said.
They argue that, should CRA implement its proposals, Kenyans should brace for tough times because reduced revenue will affect operations in various departments.
“For instance, in Kilifi County in the last six years they have expanded reduce allocation it means residents will not get services and hospitals will lack essential medicines.
“In the six Coast counties we are likely to lose more than Sh5 billion, which can bring massive developments. As leaders, we oppose the CRA’s formula,” Governor Kingi said.
Mr Faki said all Coast senators, Anwar Loitiptip (Lamu), Stewart Madzayo (Kilifi), Issa Juma Boy (Kwale) will strongly oppose the proposed proposal formula.