Inside Politics

Mt Kenya politicians push for implementation of ‘one man one vote one shilling’ formula

Sunday, April 9th, 2023 13:40 | By
A section of the Mt Kenya politicians present enjoy a dance at Toll Primary School in Juja.
A section of the Mt Kenya politicians present enjoy a dance at Toll Primary School in Juja. PHOTO/ Mathew Ndung'u

Parliamentarians from the Mt Kenya region are now rooting for equitable distribution of revenue through the 'one man-one vote-one shilling allocation'.

Insisting that the region has been producing over 30 per cent of the national revenue, the Members of Parliament (MPs) insisted that the allocation of resources should henceforth be based on population.

Speaking during a thanksgiving ceremony for Juja MP George Koimburi at Toll Primary School grounds, the MPs underscored the need to review the revenue distribution formula to make population the main parameter in the allocation of the national cake.

Led by East Africa Legislative Assembly (EALA) member Maina Karobia and Ruiru MP Simon King’ara, the legislators urged the country’s leadership to consider the proposals saying it will go a long way in ensuring equity.

King’ara noted with concern that over 70,000 residents had applied for bursaries in his constituency yet his allocation was similar to MPs who give bursaries to fewer people.

With his allocation, King’ara regretted that such funds are not enough to cater for the increasing number of needy students in his constituency owing to the harsh economic times most families were facing due to drought, erratic rains, and high cost of living.

“Githurai has for instance been hectic to give out bursary forms. The place is heavily populated and with the little, I get as allocation it becomes difficult to share. It is time we pursue equity in the distribution of resources based on the population. My people in their big numbers pay taxes but the return to their efforts is too little,” King’ara said.

While calling for equity, Maina Karobia on his part called on parliamentarians to take up the role of pushing for the amendment of the law to enshrine a fairer revenue-sharing formula in the constitution.

“Parliamentarians have a duty to take this proposal in parliament for legalization and action,” Karobia stated.

His sentiments were echoed by Murang’a woman representative Betty Maina who regretted that the region was contributing too much and getting very little in return.

Gatundu North MP Elijah Njoroge Kururia described it as unfair to give Ruiru constituency a Ksh40 or so million for bursary and allocate a similar amount to a constituency in North Eastern that has an incomparable population.

“It’s funny that Ruiru is treated similarly to some constituencies in North Eastern with less than 5,000 residents. Where is equity and how is King’ara supposed to educate children in his area?” Kururia posed.

Mt Kenya counties

Kiambu, Murang’a, Nyeri, Kirinyaga, Nyandarua, Laikipia, Meru, Embu and Tharaka Nithi as some of the heavily populated counties, whose leaders have been complaining that they get inadequate resources.

Under the current revenue sharing formula, population covers 45 per cent, basic equal share (25 per cent), poverty (20 per cent), land area (8 per cent) and fiscal responsibility (2 per cent) which Mt Kenya politicians insist leaves the heavily-populated counties with little cash for development.

The leaders present also requested guaranteed minimum prices of tea, coffee, milk, green grams, and rice among other products produced in the region.

During the event, Koimburi distributed Ksh50 million to applicants, money he said was not enough and as a result of the inadequacy, many applicants did not benefit.

On his part, Trade Cabinet Secretary (CS) Moses Kuria called for the splitting of the CDF kitty to create a separate bursary fund to be shared in the proportion of the constituency student population.

“Go to parliament because that is where laws are made, why wait for tomorrow, begin the process today,” the CS told the MPs.

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