Governors Set Date to Shut Down 47 Counties, Send Workers Home

  • Kakamega Senator Wycliffe Oparanya (center) with other governors including Makueni's Kivutha Kibwana at a press conference in January 2020.
    Kakamega Senator Wycliffe Oparanya (centre) with other governors including Makueni's Kivutha Kibwana at a press conference in January 2020.
    Daily Nation
  • Governors on Thursday, September 3 announced a plan to shut down all 47 county governments over the revenue sharing formula stalemate.

    Council of Governors (CoG) Chairperson Wycliffe Oparanya stated that in two weeks, on September 17, all counties would cease operations if the stalemate in the Senate was not resolved.

    Worryingly for thousands of county government staff, he further stated that all workers would be sent on leave.

    Oparanya reiterated that counties were bearing the brunt of a lack of consensus on the Third Basis Revenue Allocation Formula.

    Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya speaking at the State of Devolution Address 2020 on July 23, 2020.
    Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya speaking at the State of Devolution Address 2020 on July 23, 2020.
    Twitter

    He observed that they had been unable to pay salaries of most of their staff including frontline healthcare workers battling the Covid-19 pandemic.

    The CoG further threatened to sponsor a petition to dissolve the Senate over the stalemate.

    "To this end, we hereby forewarn the Senate that a petition for its dissolution can be initiated by any member of the public through the High Court as provided for under Article 258 of the Constitution.

    “It is unfortunate that county governments are unable to even pay the salaries and allowances of our health workers who remain in the frontline to save lives of Kenyans," the statement read in part.

    After 9 sittings failed to provide a resolution, the Senate formed a 12-member committee to find a middle ground on the report.

    Reports indicate that the committee had, however, been wrought with disagreements with a deal still considered far off.

    The third basis formula has faced strong opposition from leaders of counties considered historically marginalized.

    The North Eastern and Coast regions have been seen as the biggest losers in the formula, which prioritizes population in determining distribution of resources.

    Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya addressing the media on April 11, 2020.
    Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya addressing the media on April 11, 2020.
    Citizen Digital