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Change law for counties to use own revenue raised - Kahiga.

The law should be amended to allow county governments to spend the revenue they collect, Nyeri Governor Mutahi Kahiga has proposed.

He said that would in future address a stalemate similar to the one happening now between the Senate and National Assembly over how much the counties should receive from the Exchequer.

Currently, the money collected in counties must go through the County Revenue Fund.

MPs want the counties to be given Sh317 billion by the Exchequer while senators have proposed Sh326 billion. Counties are asking for Sh335 billion. Owing to lack of cash, county governments are unable to pay for drugs, water and electricity.

The governor spoke during the first revenue enhancement appreciation day held at a Nyeri hotel on Wednesday. The best performing departments and subcounties in revenue collection during the financial year 2018-2019 were honoured.

The governors moved to court on July 15, accusing the National Treasury and the National Assembly of holding counties hostage. They accused the Treasury of continuously ignoring the Commission of Revenue Allocation's recommendations on the sharing of revenue between the national government and the counties.

MPs want the counties to be given Sh317 billion by the Exchequer while senators have proposed Sh326 billion. Counties are asking for Sh335 billion. Owing to lack of cash, county governments are unable to pay for drugs, water and electricity.

Development projects are at risk of stalling after negotiations collapsed between the national government and governors over sharing of revenue.

Kahiga said counties must wait for budgetary approvals before they spend the money they have collected. He said law change should be given a serious thought so that the most efficient way is found to handle the matter.

'Arm-twisting of counties will not be acceptable. It is unfortunate that salaries for county workers will be late because of the stalemate. I think it is important that the National Assembly realises that all the taxes collected in this country should be shared according to the law," the governor said.

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Publication:The Star (Nairobi, Kenya)
Date:Jul 26, 2019
Words:379
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