By Amunga Akhanayalabandu
The robust debate in the Senate in the past three weeks and the vigilant engagement by ordinary Kenyans on how 15% of the annual budget is shared btw the 47 counties has brought about a level of awareness and engagement never witnessed in our history. Proponents of the formula have argued that money should be allocated based on population while those opposing the formula contend that land mass must also be taken into account since it takes a long distance to render service to people, especially in vast counties
*WHAT IS MARGINALIZATION?*
North Eastern Counties combined have a population of 3.3m people and have been receiving a total of Ksh.45B from the treasury as revenue. Compare this with Kakamega and Bungoma whose population is over 6 million but receives Ksh. 30B less than what the northern counties receive. That is where my problem is. I feel bad, when I see my friend Sen. Cleo showing solidarity with the northerners claiming they are marginalized than Kakamega. Marginalisation is an issue older than Counties and cannot be addressed through a revenue sharing formula. Malala cannot use his 5 year tenure in the senate to heal marginalization. Infact he needs to start by defining the term marginalization.
A school with over 3000 students like say Kakamega high school (which has less space), cannot get equal measure of resources with a school like say Garabatula in Garissa which has only 70 students but has a large compound. TSC will post more teachers to KK high, than Garabatula. MOE will send more money to fund projects at KK high than to Garabatula. Kakamega high will look like it is more veloped because the large population will lead to competition, more talents, etc. The head teacher of Garabatula will be very selfish if he comes to Nairobi and demands to get equal share or more funding that Kakamega high because he has more space and he is less developed. Why? Because… developments and funding follows people and settlement.
It is the principal function of the Commission on Revenue Allocation is to make recommendations concerning the basis for the equitable sharing of revenue raised by the national government. The Commission makes recommendations on other matters concerning the financing of, and financial management by, county governments, as required by this Constitution and national legislation.
The latest revenue allocation formula seeks to enhance service delivery, promote balanced development, encourage counties to raise their own cash and prudently use public resources.
The @KNBStats ranked Kakamega, Turkana and Mandera as top counties with poor people. Turkana(752,359, Kakamega (580,834), Mandera( 513,207. Let ghe people of Western realise that they are very poor because they have a large population, and the resources that reach them are not enough. Malala must fight for Kakamega. Let him let Somali people fight their own war which they have babtized Marginalization. Let Malala also ask those Somali MPs why is it that areas that border Northern Kenya in Ethopia and Somali land are also marginalised? How come Ethopia or Somalia have never been able to solve the marginalization of their regions that border Kenya?