President Uhuru Kenyatta at statehouse address
President Uhuru Kenyatta in a national address. PSCU

ODM party blames President Uhuru Kenyatta to settle the stalemate in the Senate over a formula to share Sh316 billion allocated to counties.

The deadlock advances to dive the counties into cash pressure and meddle their operations.

Minority leader James Orengo on Tuesday placed the liability for the stalemate at President Uhuru Kenyatta.

“The thing President Mwai Kibaki did probably no other president would be able to do. I am not ashamed of saying that. I am advising the current President to be more accessible for him to enable us to solve these problems,” Orengo told senators.

“We would not have been here if he was more accessible, I'm telling you without being afraid. I'm not saying it for me, I’m saying it for the country.”

Orengo argued with senators to delay the sitting to give room for more broad consensus and avoid an unwanted deadlock after sharp disagreements surfaced.

However, senators voted 40 against 7 to defeat his adjournment motion.

Senators later shot-down another push by Majority Whip Irungu Kang'ata to suspend for two years the effective date of the formula proposed by the Finance and Budget Committee. Kirinyaga Senator Charles Kibiru chairs the team.

Orengo's remarks opened the event of two handshake partners ODM leader Raila Odinga and Uhuru fallout.

Minority Whip Mutula Kilonzo Jr said Orengo’s declaration confirmed that the push for the disputed formula never came from the President.

“Orengo, in just a stroke of a pen, just confirmed that this agenda has not come from him (the President). They were having difficulty confirming that this is his agenda. There was no involvement of the President,” Kilonzo said.

ODM national treasurer Timothy Bosire said the situation should remain the way it is until the country gets a more reliable strategy that does not leave any county behind.

“Since Independence, development has been inequitable across the country. A team of experts should be formed and look at that carefully before any formula is brought forward,” the ex-Kitutu Masaba MP said.

Much money needs to be allocated to address historical injustices so that all counties across the country can be brought at par, he said.

“There is need to look at that formula so that we can bring every region across the country up to speed in terms of development,” Bosire said.

On Wednesday, Kang’ata, who is the President’s point man in the Senate, dismissed Orengo’s comments. He said that the formula “is the government’s agenda.”

“You cannot see a chief whip moving a motion if it is his motion. They only bring government business. So, anytime you see a chief whip doing anything, he is doing it on behalf of the government,” Kang'ata counted.

"There were some senators who are in positions of leadership in the party who decided on their motion to go against the official position of the government. We expect some remedial action to be taken against them," he said.

"I do not doubt that very soon we shall be cracking the whip of the party against those who went against the official government business that was before the House," the Murang'a Senator added.

Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja had moved an amendment to the committee's formula to give counties losing money Sh9.2 billion to cushion them.

However, the debate was cut short after Deputy Speaker Margaret Kamar adjourned the sitting at 9.05 pm before members could take a vote.

Senators from sparsely populated and marginalised counties had joined forces, upsetting Uhuru-Raila allies in the counties’ revenue formula battle.

The team also combined efforts to marshal a simple majority to throw away Kang'ata's bid to defer the formula for two years.

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