The stalemate over the new formula for sharing county resources is symptomatic of a far bigger problem. It’s not about the formula per se, but the politics of it. Which is quite upsetting.
The fate of the counties is being held captive by political intrigues and power play. For weeks, the Senate has discussed merits and demerits of the formula developed by the Commission for Revenue Allocation (CRA).
Every camp has strong arguments. The only thing they have failed to do is to argue for the interest of all Kenyans.
The basic proposition is that resource allocation must be equitable and has to address historical injustices. Resource allocation must serve the goals of devolution and development.
But the politics is damning. First, the use of threats, intimidation or blackmail to win over senators in either of the sides is quite offensive.
When, for example, Majority Chief Whip Irungu Kang’ata issues threats to deal with non-pliant Jubilee Senators or bullies the opposition ODM team to support the motion or risk losing the Building Bridges Initiative vote, then the principle of conscience voting is lost. Second, we are appalled when some shadowy political characters shuttle around dropping names, frightening elected leaders and directing them on how to vote. That is not the democracy we fought for.
Senators are representatives of the people, not beholden to any party leader. To let party leaders to decide for Parliament is throwing democracy out of the window for dictatorship.
The revenue sharing is not about life and death; it can be resolved through honest brokering. The many adjournments are not helpful.
Yesterday’s should be last with the understanding that, it’s going to provide the Senate the last chance to consult and achieve consensus on the matter.