Senate majority leader Samuel Poghisio is a man under siege for failure to convince the Senate to approve the new proposed revenue allocation formula that has turned out to be a hot potato among several leaders across the country. The West Pokot Kanu senator and a former Wiper Democratic Movement MP is also under intense pressure from his backyard to deliver goodies to his people and brethren, after being elevated to one of the coveted seats in the country.Since the Senator was appointed as the majority leader, he has never stepped foot in the county, the opposite of his predecessor, Kipchumba Murkomen, who used to move around the region initiating development projects.
The majority leader’s inability to marshal support and lobby colleagues to his side has become a matter of great concern and scrutiny when he recently introduced the third basis revenue sharing formula bill that has created a storm. Again, he had to ask the house for an adjournment to allow for further consultations after the majority of the senators disagreed on a middle ground in the contentious amendments. Reports indicate that Poghisio, who has been on the receiving end by the electorates in his home county, may have been forced to move after president Uhuru Kenyatta gave him a three-day deadline period to mobilize support for a new revenue sharing formula for counties. The head of state is said to have been concerned with the continued failure by the senate to obtain a consensus on the matter, despite missing the constitutional deadline of June 30.A special sitting convened by speaker Ken Lusaka to specifically approve the crucial money bill failed after the lawmakers once again stalled in enacting the formula because the standing committee on finance and budget was yet to finalize its report.
Lusaka also called off an informal sitting to discuss a contentious formula that will determine how counties share the funds allocated in this year’s financial budget. At least 21 senators drawn from the arid and semi-arid counties have protested the new proposed formula for revenue allocation among counties, saying the proposed mechanism will disenfranchise and further marginalize their regions. On Thursday, July 23, a special sitting that had been convened to debate the Bill ended without a consensus prompting Lusaka to adjourn it until July 28 when it will be presented again before the house. Political pundits in the region argue that it will be an uphill task for Poghisio to marshal votes for the handshake team in the rich vote Rift Valley region. Already, a section of leaders across the country led by lawyer Ahmed Nassir have branded the senator as “a political probox”.According to Nassir, the West Pokot senator is struggling in the house as the majority leader to assert authority. The sharp-shooting senior counsel likened the Jubilee pointman to a Toyota Probox vehicle struggling with the rugged political terrains. That was a pregnant statement.
In a hilarious tweet that elicited reactions from citizens on Friday, July 24, the lawyer stated: “Let us admit this honestly and without any “manenos”, seeing how he is struggling in the senate, Senator Poghisio as the majority leader is a political Probox,” he remarked. This has led to a looming cash crisis in counties after senators on Thursday failed to reach a consensus, for a record fourth time, on the third basis for revenue allocation among counties. Lusaka had convened the special sitting to allow the Senate to reach a consensus on the contentious formula which was proposed by the Commission on Revenue Allocation on sharing cash among the 47 counties. With the agenda of the session clearly stipulated in the order paper, the sitting’s mission suffered a setback from the onset after the mover of the motion failed to appear in the chamber forcing Speaker Lusaka to reorganize the order paper. The senate then dispensed off with the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission Bill, the county tourism Bill and the Care and Protection of Child Parents Bill after which house majority requested for the sitting’s adjournment on account of unpreparedness.“Now that the mover of the motion is not here, my request would be that we consider adjourning to a later date so that we make conclusions on the matter,” he said.
Poghisio took over from Jubilee’s Murkomen who was ousted in a coup that was convened by the party leader, Uhuru on May 11. Nearly three months after his election, the Kanu politician is said to be confused and lacks credibility and not akin to the vital position he holds said to have been fronted for by Baringo Senator Gideon Moi. Citizens from his home county have bashed the majority leader he is torn between supporting a new CRA formula that benefits his own county and opposing what disenfranchises the majority of northern and pastoralists’ counties.“The new CRA which relies on popularity rather than the previous landmass is popular among counties in Central Kenya, Rift Valley, Western, Nyanza and Eastern regions. Let’s see if he is cunning enough lest he annoys his gods,” wrote Tulel Reuben. Reuben said Poghisio seems to be managing the situation instead of influencing his senators. “Seriously blame the coercer. Our son is inept and incompetent. He is more of a manager than a leader. Hitherto, he has terribly failed!” he wrote.“I totally agree with Linus Kakai kicker that the senate has lost leadership and may result in a replica of 1964 where the first devolution was abolished. Failure by the senators to pass Revenue Allocation Bill occasioned by disagreement on the third revenue sharing formula that attempts to marginalize the frontier counties is a sad state of events”.