Leaders from Kenya’s northern frontier counties have faulted the proposed revenue-sharing formula, terming it discriminatory and unfair.
If approved by the Senate, the formula by the Commission on Revenue Allocation (CRA) will be used to share revenue to counties, with Sh335.67 billion earmarked for the 47 counties in the 2019/2020 financial year.
The leaders, led by Mandera Governor Ali Roba, said the arid and semi arid (Asal) counties, with the backing of the Frontier Counties Development Council (FCDC) and the Pastoralists Parliamentary Group (PPG), will pursue the issue through a political process involving finding like-minded political leaders to get a legislation through the National Assembly and the Senate, to reject such policies negatively affecting their region.
“CRA does not clearly give the basis of the parameters through which they reached the revenue-sharing formula, and instead largely use population as the basic denominator, assuming that all the 47 counties have the same level of development,” Mr Roba, who is also the FCDC chairperson, said.
Governor Roba said Asal counties — which are usually marginalised and largely inhabited by pastoralists — explained: "The Asal counties are going to lose close to Sh10 billion per year if the new formula is adopted. The 2018/2019 budget vis-a-vis 2019/2020 budget shows overall increase of 6.9 percent."
And according to the leaders, in the 2019 census — which will inform how this revenue will be shared — the government is proposing the use of a biometric system, which they say raised credibility questions during the last general elections.
“The coming census must be done in a credible way, with the inclusion of international observers, and the results transmitted transparently. This way, it will be realised that we have the numbers,” PPG secretary-general Rehema Dida, the Isiolo woman representative, said.
The leaders similarly pointed out that it is worrying that there are utterances coming from some leaders which are not in the spirit of building bridges and forging national unity.
“Certain individuals target the pastoralist communities, terming them non-existent. We however demand our fair share of the country’s resources,” Major (Rtd) Bashir Abdullahi, a PPG member, said.
As per the proposals, the regions set to have the largest allocations are: Nairobi (Sh17.44 billion), Nakuru (Sh11.79bn), Turkana (Sh11.69bn), Kakamega (Sh11.3bn) and Kiambu (Sh10.05bn).
Followed by Taita Taveta (Sh4.25bn), Elgeyo Marakwet (Sh4.13bn), Isiolo (Sh3.78bn), Tharaka Nithi (Sh3.76bn) and Lamu (Sh2.46bn).