Estimated reading time: 7 minute(s)
A section of leaders from the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party in Kilifi County have asked the Senate to reject the controversial county revenue sharing formula bill.
The leaders, who spoke in Kilifi Town on Monday as shown in this video claimed the new formula would deprive expansive and historically marginalized counties of much needed development funds to put them at par with developed regions.
Kilifi North Member of Parliament Owen Baya faulted the Commission for Revenue Allocation – CRA for proposing the new formula and the Finance Committee for introducing amendments that would see large but less populous counties lose billions of shillings from the sharable revenue.
He said there was need for care in handling the matter as mishandling of the same could divide the nation and revive calls for secession.
“The issue of population driven allocations when expansive counties especially those in the coast and North Eastern region are being overlooked may revive the calls for cessation, something that could further divide this country,” he told the press.
Baya said that the initial formula used was to run for at least 20 years to bring all counties at equal development level before the formula is amended.
The bigger the county the more funds needed to develop infrastructure. Land mass is more important than population because infrastructure must reach people,” he said adding that Kilifi would need more funds to achieve this feat.
His sentiments were echoed by Kilifi County Assembly Deputy Speaker Stanley Kenga, who noted that Kilifi County would lose a whopping Sh1.2 billion if the formula is passed as proposed by the Senate Finance Committee.
Last week, the chairman of the Coast Parliamentary Group, Said Buya Hiribae (Galole MP), also faulted the formula saying counties like Tana River, which had had a long history of marginalization, would be greatly disadvantaged.
He called on the Senate to be considerate and ensure that counties in Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASAL) were well funded to enable them to get much needed infrastructure such as hospitals.
The leaders’ stand seems to be running counter with that of ODM leader Raila Odinga, who told the Senate on Monday to discard amendments proposed by the Senate Finance Committee and adopt the original formula fronted by the Commission on Revenue Allocation (CRA).
“The senate made certain amendments to the CRA recommendations but equally retained the central principle that allocation must be about the population. Unfortunately, the institution has disagreed on its own amendments.
“Under the circumstances, the country and our people would better be served if we adopted the recommendation of the CRA for the next five years,” Mr. Odinga said in a statement.