The Council of Governors were handed a big win on budget allocation following a ruling delivered by the Supreme Court on Friday, May 15, 2020.
The governors had moved to court in July 2019, following a stalemate between the National Assembly and the Senate on the allocation of monies to the counties.
The National Assembly had allocated Ksh310 billion to the devolved units, whereas the Senate allocated Ksh335 billion.
The two houses had failed to settle on the Ksh25 billion shortfalls that the Senate had requested from the National Treasury.
On June 13, 2019, National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale alleged that the lower house was the rightful house mandated to handle budget affairs in the country.
The Supreme Court bench comprised of Judges Mohammed Ibrahim, Smokin Wanjala, Isaac Lenaola, Chief Justice David Maraga and Njoki Ndung’u ruled that Parliament cannot enact the Appropriations Act before the Division of Revenue Act.
The bench stated that both houses had a major role to play in budget allocation, noting that such a stalemate had not happened since the promulgation of the constitution.
“I hope this is the last time that the Supreme Court or any other court is called upon to pronounce itself on the issue that, in our current constitutional architecture, the division of revenue between the two levels of government is one of the central issues concerning county governments demanding the full participation of the Senate, the National Assembly should never again subject the country to the anxiety it did last year,” CJ Maraga pronounced.
Elgeyo Marakwet Senator, Kipchumba Murkomen on May 15, lauded the ruling by the court, assuring that the Senate would deliver on its mandate to Kenyans.
“Great victory for devolution. Senate will properly protect counties. The Supreme Court in its Advisory Opinion No.3 of 2019 has ruled that Parliament cannot enact Appropriations Act before enacting Division of Revenue Act. The Supreme Court Advisory Opinion is not mere advice or opinion,” Murkomen tweeted
Justice Ndung’u stated that the ideology of money bills originating from the legislature was as a result of the colonial experience, as is practised in many Commonwealth nations, and therefore, the Supreme Court ought to have reviewed it.
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