Kenya: Senators Accuse Lusaka of Frustrating Efforts to Unlock Revenue Stalemate

Kenya: Senators Accuse Lusaka of Frustrating Efforts to Unlock Revenue Stalemate

Senators have accused Speaker Kenneth Lusaka of frustrating efforts to unlock the revenue sharing stalemate that has stalled in the House for three months.

The lawmakers criticised Mr Lusaka for failing to convene an informal meeting of the senators, known as a Speaker’s Kamukunji, which he had directed be held yesterday, to discuss the disputed revenue sharing formula.

It was to brief members on the outcome of discussions by a 12-member committee formed to seek consensus and which failed to hammer out a compromise.

Convene a meeting

However, the meeting did not take place and some of the senators accused the Speaker of failing to convene a meeting he had pledged to host. Minority Whip Mutula Kilonzo Junior said failure by Mr Lusaka to convene the Kamukunji suggests that some quarters were not interested in a negotiated settlement: “The fact that Mr Lusaka did not call the Kamukunji suggests that some people want this resolved through a vote. We want to tell them that we will cast our votes for a united Kenya and we will not waver. We will be firm,” Mr Kilonzo Junior declared on Monday.

However, Mr Lusaka blamed the House leadership for failing to give him the agenda of the meeting.

“I directed that the Kamukunji be held but the agenda was driven by the House leadership,” the Speaker said, referring to Majority Leader Samuel Poghisio and Minority Leader James Orengo.

Cloak-and-dagger tactics

In his communication to the House last week, Mr Lusaka had stated that the purpose of the Kamukunji was to brief the senators on the agreement recorded by the 12-member committee.

The House had adjourned on August 17 to give the team time to seek a middle ground. The committee failed to agree. It emerged that the two opposing sides were employing cloak-and-dagger tactics in a bid to lure more members to their camps.

The Nation learnt that the executive is keen to have the formula developed by the House Committee on Finance adopted as the third basis of sharing revenue.

As a result, the State is determined to delay the debate, and even the vote, until it’s sure that those supporting the one-man one-shilling formula have secured adequate numbers.

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