This is not about favouritism but is about laying the facts bare on the table. It is about a people who have out-rightly been denied resources despite giving a major contribution to the country’s Gross Domestic Product. It is important that Kenyans understand the logic on why the revenue allocation should be based on population and exclude parameters of area and development as has been for years since the commencement of devolution.
Compare Sh45 billion allocated to 700,000 registered voters and a paltry Sh9 billion allocated to 1.1 million registered voters. This is what the exchequer has been issuing to such populations whereby the many are disadvantaged over the few.
Bringing it closer home, two students are for instance admitted to a respective ‘national’ school as earlier known. One student comes from an average but modest home whose location is in Isiolo and another comes from Kiambu from a family that is struggling to provide basic needs.
These two students are awarded funds from their respective Counties but the student from Isiolo is awarded Sh100,000 while the other student from Kiambu is awarded Sh5,000 because that is all the County could afford to ensure many benefit from the bursary.
How would you rate this? Who is more advantaged among the two? Where is the ‘equality’? The illustration is actually factual as Eldas constituency with a population of only 18,000 registered voters is given the same allocation of Sh100 million for CDF as Ruiru constituency with a population of 490,120 and a voter population of 160,000; the reason why a student from Eldas gets Sh100,000 and one from Ruiru only gets Sh5,000.
Adding more insult to injury, the Counties that have for years been allocated the largest share of revenue have contributed minimally to the country’s Gross Domestic Product. Like the parable of the talents when the master came back from his travel, he demanded accountability for the talents he had issued to his three servants.
Two servants put their talents in to good use while one sat on it even resolving to hide it away keeping it ‘safe’ for his master. This is the behavior of Counties with large masses of land which are given colossal amounts of money but decide to sit on it. There is no worthwhile investment undertaken despite the resourcefulness of the region.
Recent statistics from the 2019 Kenya National Bureau of Statistics indicated that the Nairobi, Nakuru, Kiambu, Mombasa and Machakos County contributed the highest GDP at 21.7%, 6.1%, 5.5%, 4.7% and 3.2% respectively. However, despite having the largest stake of revenue, allocated regions that have had the least contribution to the GDP include Isiolo at 0.2%, Wajir 0.5%, Marsabit 0.5%. and Turkana at 1.1% which does not add up as these are the regions that get the largest share of revenue allocation.
Despite the large population and minimal resources offered to Mt Kenya region, it has managed to put the little it has into good use and thereby fully maximising resources to earn from economic activities such as Agriculture which is its mainstay.
By this, Counties in Mt Kenya region are actually the ones being marginalised. In the 2019/2020 revenue allocation, Turkana and Mandera received slightly more than Sh10 billion while less than Sh5billion was allocated to Embu, Kirinyaga, Laikipia and Nyandarua. Why should Counties that intentionally spend less on development deny those putting effort to ensure development in their regions?
These Counties have the largest amount of funds not utilised. For instance, Mandera recorded Sh2.7 billion of unutilised funds while Murang’a recorded Sh446 million, which clearly shows that equality can only come by if each Kenyan is allocated their own share of revenue. This is why the Mt Kenya region deserves its justified share of revenue.