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CoG funding bid goes to Supreme Court

Governors are seeking advice on its bid for alternative funding. The national government and the Senate have however opposed the request, saying it is not supported by law.CoG wants to be allowed to bridge the gap with receipts from counties and development partners

The Council of Governors (CoG) has moved to the Supreme Court seeking advice on its bid for alternative funding. The national government and the Senate have however opposed the request, saying it is not supported by law.CoG wants to be allowed to bridge the gap with receipts from counties and development partners.However, counties have faced challenges justifying their contributions to CoG.

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Last year, the Senate Public Accounts and Investments Committee in a damning report recommended that 10 governors be prosecuted for violating the law by making payment to CoG. “We seek an advisory opinion, whether the Intergovernmental Relations Contributions made by the county governments to CoG are unconstitutional, and whether funding for the activities of the CoG are restricted to annual allocations from the national government, notwithstanding the inadequacy of the said funds,” CoG says in court papers.It also wants the Supreme Court’s opinion on whether the national government is under obligation to provide adequate funds for its operations.READ: Senate and CRA clash with governors over Sh302 billionAccording to the Attorney General, the word “shall” in the Intergovernmental Relations Act (IGRA) is a mandatory term meaning that the operational costs of CoG must be met by the national government through the Ministry of Devolution and Planning.“It is therefore our submission that the IGRA, in the formation of CoG, envisioned that the expenses of the institution would be catered for wholly by the national government,” says the AG in court papers.The AG added that the role and functions of county governments are spelt out in law, and are distinct from those of CoG. The Senate said CoG has the option of requesting Parliament to change the law to accommodate its request for more funding and not to seek an advisory opinion from the court.The AG and the Senate have also said that the Supreme Court lacks jurisdiction to hear the case. A ruling will be delivered on notice.

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