The terms of seven commissioners at the Commission on Revenue Authority (CRA) will expire next month, setting the stage for a fight for the seats among Kenya’s top political parties.
The commissioners will exit the CRA when their single six-year term lapses on December 31, with lawmakers in the Senate and the National Assembly, mandated to hire the new commissioners.
Nomination of the commissioners in the two Houses is pegged on the party or coalition with majority members, meaning that the Kenya Kwanza faction will take the highest number of the seven slots.
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The chairperson of the CRA and Treasury Principal Secretary are the other two commissioners bringing the total number to nine.
State agencies and commissions offer political parties an opportunity to reward political loyalists, highlighting why the seven slots are likely to spark off a fight from individuals who supported the Kenya Kwanza and Azimio la Umoja factions in the August polls.
The CRA commissioners exiting are Irene Asienga, Edward Oyugi, Peter Gachuba, Kishanto Ole Suuji, Peter Kimuyu, Humphrey Wattanga and Fouzia Abdikadir.
Senators recruit five commissioners while the other two will be picked by the National Assembly.
The President nominates the chair of the commission who is then approved by lawmakers.
The new commissioners will take over at a time the CRA has been pushing counties to improve their revenue collection systems in a bid to raise more cash internally and cut reliance on transfers from the National Treasury.
The seven were appointed to the agency that advises Parliament on how the national government and counties should share revenue on December 31, 2016, to serve for a non-renewable term of six years.
The seven commissioners will go on terminal leave early next month after handing over their exit report to President William Ruto.
Jane Kiringai, the current chairperson of CRA and former economist with the Word Bank, will exit in February upon the expiry of her tenure.
She is the second head of the commission and having taken over from Micah Cheserem who served for six years to 2016.
The CRA is one of the independent commissions under the 2010 Constitution and has been critical to the strengthening of the devolved governments given its primary role of advising how the units should share revenue with the national government.