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Raila to meet with CS Wamalwa ahead of devolution conference

Devolution Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa is expected to meet with ODM party leader Raila Odinga Wednesday over the upcoming devolution conference in Kakamega County.

Mr Wamalwa will lead a team of technical officials from his ministry in the meeting that will take place at Mr Odinga’s office in Capitol Hill, Nairobi.

This year’s devolution conference will take place later this month.

Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru and Jubilee deputy chief whip in the Senate Irungu Kang’ata will accompany Mr Wamalwa in the meeting whose main agenda is to brief Mr Odinga on the planned devolution conference.

Following the unity deal between Mr Odinga and President Uhuru Kenyatta on March 9, the ODM leader rallied MPs allied to his party to support the government’s Big Four agenda in Parliament.

The meeting could therefore be seen as part of the good gesture between the two leaders to read from the same script on devolution matters ahead of the conference.

National government austerity measures

The devolution conference is being held amid a sharp division between the Treasury CS Henry Rotich and the governors over the county governments expenditure.

Last month, Mr Rotich told the Senate that counties should start tightening their belts under the national government’s new austerity measures that would affect their budgets.

The Treasury CS said the government was planning to cut down expenditure on non-priority areas that would slash allocation to counties by at least Sh15 billion as it grapples with Sh80 billion revenue shortfall.

Mr Rotich CS made the remarks when he appeared before the Senate Committee on Finance and Budget.

However, the Council of Governors chairman, Josephat Nanok, opposed the proposal saying that the national government should bear the burden of the shortfall in revenue collection.

“The Division of Revenue Act, Section 5, provides that the national government will bear the revenue shortfall and in case of revenue over-performance, it shall be accrued to the national government,” said Mr Nanok at the council’s headquarters in Nairobi.

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