The consideration by the Treasury to grant counties access to half of the Sh310 billion allocated to them by the National Assembly even as negotiations continue to resolve a legislative dispute over the sharing of revenue between the national governments and the devolved units risks amounting to an illegality and should be reconsidered.
Although the suggestion may seem rational in terms of limiting disruptions to the operations of counties, implementing it would be a breach of the law and officials at the National Treasury must drop the plan and instead push for both the Senate and the National Assembly to agree on an amount as stipulated in law.
In the spirit of accountability and prudent management of public funds, all transactions by State agencies, including the Treasury, must be backed by law. In this case, the bicameral Parliament is yet to agree on the Division of Revenue Bill and County Allocation of Revenue Bill which raises questions on the legality of the National Treasury’s idea, well-meaning as it may be.
Our view is that priority should be a speedy resolution of this stand-off and not makeshift solutions that would be readily challenged in a court of law and which risk setting a bad precedent.