The youthful Senator Kipchumba Murkomen – Elgeyo Marakwet County is accusing “individuals” who are against devolution for working in cohoots with the executive (Uhuru Kenyatta government) to frustrate devolution. In a press statement, the senator decries the ongoing supremacy battle between the two houses (senate and parliament)
In a swift rejoinder, a leading pundit had this to say about the senator’s statement
Here below is the full statement by the Hon Senator:
PRESS STATEMENT ON THE REJECTION OF SENATE’S ROLE IN THE DIVISION OF REVENUE BILL BY THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY.
I have noted with utter shock and disbelief the decision of the National Assembly to ignore the role of the Senate in the determination of division of revenue between the National Government and the Counties.
As the Chairman of the Devolved Government Committee, and having consulted with my colleagues in the Senate, I have the following to say-;
First, the Constitutional function of the Senate in division of revenue is anchored in Arts. 96, 110, 205 and 218 of the Constitution. The Senate has the responsibility of protecting the interests of counties in sharing the resources raised nationally.
Second, that counties perform important roles in the delivery of essential services to the people of Kenya including agriculture, housing, water and sanitation, health services in all hospitals, except the two referral hospitals among others. The allocation of 210 Billion to the counties denies Kenyans the opportunity to benefit from the promise of devolution and sets up all the counties for failure. This will lead to social disharmony across the country.
Third, it is now apparent that individuals who are against devolution are working in cohoots with their partners in the executive and National Assembly to frustrate the Senate and devolution. The attacks on the institution of the Senate are systematic and coordinated. They are akin to what happened in 1960s. Luckily the Constitution is in favor of the Senate and devolution. In this age and time the people of Kenya will not fall prey to this smear campaign
Fourth , it is unfortunate that the National Assembly and its leadership has allowed itself to be carried away by the supremacy battle instead of soberly meditating upon the implications of their decisions on devolution. The actions of the National Assembly demonstrate malice and bad faith on their part. Parliament (Senate and National Assembly) should be working together in harmony and in the interest of the people of Kenya. I am baffled that even the Minority Party did not see any wisdom in supporting devolution.
Fifth the actions of the National Assembly will set a bad precedent for future engagement between the two houses of parliament. Institutions which ought to work in harmony are now going to degenerate into acrimony. The Speakers of the two houses should arrest this matter before it is out of hand.
Finally I urge President Uhuru Kenyatta to reject the Bill as submitted by the National Assembly and refer it back to Parliament for proper consideration. The Bill has not been passed by Parliament in the manner provided for in the Constitution. This is the biggest test on the part of the President who has vowed to respect the Constitution and to protect devolution. I am sure that the President will demonstrate statesmanship on this matter.
I call upon Kenyans of all walks of life to remain vigilant in protecting devolution. The Senate will do everything possible to ensure that the counties are protected even if it means referring the matter to the Supreme Court of Kenya for interpretation.
Hon. Kipchumba Murkomen
Senator Elgeyo Marakwet County
Chairman Sessional Committee on Devolved Government