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Opposition leaders push for more funds allocation to counties

The National Super Alliance wants counties to be allocated 47 per cent of the national revenue.

In a speech to governors at the close of this year’s devolution conference in Naivasha, Mr Odinga said the Opposition’s stance is that the allocation be raised to 47 per cent.

The Constitution provides for a 15 per cent total revenue but the Jubilee administration has more than doubled it.

After the conclusion of the fourth devolution conference at the Kenya Wildlife Service Training Institute on Thursday evening, it was resolved that the Constitution be amended to provide for 45 per cent as the minimum equitable share to counties.

Senate was asked to act on this.

In a speech read by Kisumu Senator Anyang’ Nyong’o generally focusing on the next five years of devolution, Mr Odinga said Nasa would keep pushing for the minimum 47 per cent raise.

The theme was “Devolution transforming Lives – Tell Your Story.”

“We have seen good investment especially in infrastructure, health care, water services, sanitation, electrification and early childhood education across all counties,” the former Prime Minister added.

In addition, Mr Odinga said Nasa would do an audit to establish new areas and some of the existing functions and resources to be devolved to counties.

Governors welcomed his proposal for the revenue raise, with their chairman Peter Munya paying tribute to Mr Odinga “for supporting counties”.

SUCCESSFUL VENTURE

Devolution Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri – who presided over the closing ceremony on behalf of Deputy President William Ruto – called on the leadership of counties and the national government to work together for the success of devolution and the country’s progress.

He described the conference as a huge success, saying he was happy that both governments agreed on issues raised.

He thanked governors for supporting him even as they worked through challenges to make devolution work.

The ODM leader, who in South Africa to visit his eldest daughter, Rosemary, who is recuperating at a hospital there, was of the view that devolution’s success story had put to shame “the doomsday prophets predicting that devolution would tear the country apart and pit tribe against tribe”.

“The lesson that we have learnt is that as a nation, we must never fear change. We must always be ready to embrace and experiment with new ideas if we are to move forward,” he said, adding that embracing devolution had signalled Kenyans refusal “to be held hostage” by the past.

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