President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM boss Raila Odinga are staring at another defeat in Senate after senators opposed to the county cash sharing formula vowed to reject it.
This emerged as a crunch meeting of the Senate leadership, the Treasury and other devolution actors held on Monday agreed Sh187 billion be released to the counties to save them from the paralysis occasioned by the revenue formula standoff.
The Star has established that the 25 senators who last week engineered the defeat of an amendment to defer the disputed formula by two years have plotted another elaborate plan to reject it in totality.
The amendment was sponsored by Majority Chief Whip Irungu Kang’ata (Murang’a) with the blessings of Uhuru and Raila.
With their number standing at 25, the opposing senators have surpassed the 24 threshold required to defeat the formula that would see 18 counties lose Sh17 billion.
The stalemate is full of political intrigue, with Deputy President William Ruto rallying his troops to reject the formula.
On Sunday, Raila met a section of Uhuru’s allies led by Jubilee vice chairman David Murathe at the Kajiado home of Cotu secretary general Francis Atwoli.
At the meeting, Raila assured the President’s side that he would rally his senators to support the formula.
Siaya Senator James Orengo who is the Minority Leader was charged with bringing the leaders together.
“It is true we met with Raila to discuss, among other things, the disputed revenue sharing formula. We all agreed that the formula has to go through on Tuesday,” former Gatanga MP Peter Kenneth who attended the meeting told the Star.
The Uhuru-Raila side requires only two additional senators to push through the controversial formula.
But lawmakers from Jubilee and Nasa opposed to the formula have insisted that they want to be on the right side of history.
They have, however, alleged endless intimidation and coercion to sway them.
As part of their plan, they are armed with three formulas to counter the one proposed by the House Finance and Budget Committee.
One of the formulas whose debate resumes on Tuesday afternoon following last week’s adjournment is sponsored by Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja.
The formula ensures no county gets less money than the amount they received in the last financial year.
Some 18 counties will lose Sh17 billion in the formula proposed by the committee chaired by Kirinyaga Senator Charles Kibiru.
Senators from the 18 counties have opposed the formula, saying it will perpetuate marginalisation of their areas, and managed to convince seven others to back their agenda.
The losing counties are from less populous regions of Coast, Northeastern, lower Eastern and parts of the Rift Valley.
According to the plan, in the unlikely event that Sakaja’s formula is defeated, another method sponsored by Narok Senator Ledama Ole Kina will immediately be introduced.
A third formula sponsored by Makueni’s Mutula Kilonzo is on standby should Ole Kina’s flop.