Cord leader Raila Odinga on Wednesday urged both Cord and Jubilee MPs to stand against the President’s views on the sharing of billions of shillings from oil revenue between the national government and the regions where the oil is.
He accused President Uhuru Kenyatta of “illegal law making antics”.
The Cord leader and four governors including Turkana’s Josephat Nanok, said the President had rejected a Bill proposing a formula for revenue sharing. Mr Odinga said the president’s proposal would be a “rip-off by the government against the locals”.
Mr Odinga and Mr Nanok told a press conference at Capitol Hill that it was wrong for the President to scale down the sharing formula from 10 to five per cent for the people where the oil is.
“The President also wants to reduce the share of county government from 20 per cent to an ambiguous figure to be determined by the national government purportedly to cater for what he calls ‘equitable share of taxes’ whatever that means,” said Mr Odinga.
Mr Odinga said that careless handling of the sharing of oil and other mineral resources could spell doom for the country and urged the President to learn from Nigeria.
“The Bill was meant to provide a framework for contracting, exploration, development and production of petroleum in Kenya. It is a critical Bill in light of the discoveries Kenya is making in oil,” Mr Odinga said.
The Cord leader said the President was attempting to place the entitlements of the people where oil will be found and the county governments at the mercy of the Executive. “This is a clear violation of the Constitution and an attempt to reintroduce marginalisation of communities in regard to their resources through the back door,” he said.
Mr Nanok condemned the President’s position that marginalised peoples should not be paid more than twice what they receive as the annual allocation in the Division of Revenue Bill was ill advised and unacceptable.
“Over 850 million barrels have already been discovered from various wells around Turkana area. Article 59 of the Constitution is clear on how mineral resources should be shared. What Uhuru Kenyatta is telling us is unconstitutional to say the least,” Mr Nanok said.
Governors Hassan Joho (Mombasa), Cornel Rasanga (Siaya) and Evans Kidero (Nairobi) and ODM chairman John Mbadi were also present.
He urged the President to reconsider his memorandum rejecting the Bill. He denied claims that the county’s absorption capacity was low and that with the oil billions added to the revenue allocated through devolution the county could be having more than it requires.
The President sent his memorandum to the National Assembly saying why rejected the Bill on September 23, 2016.
The Petroleum Exploration, Development and Production Bill 2016 had been passed in both houses following consultations with members of the two Houses.
Mr Odinga said: “The rejection of the Bill by the President is a slap on the face of communities that had finally seen a realistic chance to pull themselves from the dehumanization of years of State-sanctioned marginalization and poverty to which the past constitutional order had condemned them.”
- Cord leader Raila Odinga and Turkana Governor Josephat Nanok (left) during a press briefing at Capitol Hill, Nairobi, on November 301, 2016. With them are: Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho (right) and his Nairobi counterpart Evans Kidero.