Allies of President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM Leader Raila Odinga on Tuesday clashed on the floor of the Senate as they debated the new formula that will be used to distribute revenue to counties.
Despite orders from President Kenyatta and Odinga, Senators from both Jubilee and ODM could not agree on the passage of the third generation formula which places population as the main determinant of a county's share.
President Kenyatta's ally and Senate Majority Leader Irungu Kangata tried to cede some ground after he agreed to make an amendment that pushed implementation of the new formula to the financial year 2022-2023.
Kangata said the amendment was meant to ensure no counties lost money from what they were allocated in the 2019-2020 financial year.
After an hour-long break to facilitate deliberations, the Senators resumed their sitting but divisions emerged immediately.
Senate Minority Leader James Orengo moved a motion for debate to be adjourned to allow further negotiations.
In a rarely seen development in the post-handshake era, Orengo's motion was opposed by Senate Majority Leader as well as his own whip Senator Mutula Kilonzo.
"The reason I oppose is because in the last adjournments, we have seen the kind of caucusing that was being done. At some point I had to switch off my phone this weekend. Senator Sakaja and I were requested to come up with the formula that is agreeable and we have it here. Adjourning this will mean more lobbying and unending phone calls in the night."
"Today I want to see the enemies of Makueni County. I want to see Senators vote to say the Chair of the BBI, who sits here, should lose money. Vote against us instead of threatening us in weddings. Don't suspend our mystery,hang us now," Senator Mutula said.
Orengo's motion failed after it was gained seven votes against forty who wanted debate to continue.
The Senate will now vote on whether to pass the formula proposed by Senator Kangata or a separate motion by Senator Johnson Sakaja which also ensures no counties lose revenue.
The Nairobi Senator's formula has two components whereby the counties will each get the Sh316.5 billion allocated in the Division of Revenue.
The equitable share will then form a baseline for further additional allocation during the three years that revenue generation formula will be in place.