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Gachagua vows to push for resource sharing formula

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2024 04:06 | By
DP Rigathi Gachagua speaking during the burial of Mwalimu Julius Kano Ndumbi at Gichugu, Kirinyaga County yesterday. PHOTO/DPCS
DP Rigathi Gachagua speaking during the burial of Mwalimu Julius Kano Ndumbi at Gichugu, Kirinyaga County yesterday. PHOTO/DPCS

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua yesterday remained firm on his push for equitable allocation of revenue and electoral seats to his Mt Kenya backyard even as a section of leaders from North Eastern termed the idea as retrogressive.

The second in command who spoke during the funeral of his former teacher Julius Kano Ndumbi in Gichugu, Kirinyaga County vowed that he will push for the adoption of the one-man-one-shilling formula to ensure equity and fairness in the allocation of funds to the counties.

At the same time, Gachagu castigated leaders from the region who are opposed to the formula terming them as traitors.

“I am not very clever but I am not stupid. I know a lot of issues that most people don’t know. I made a decision as the senior most leader in Mt Kenya to unite everyone irrespective of where they voted. I am here again proposing the one man one shilling one vote. Anybody who opposes it from our region is just a traitor. Even during the time when we were fighting colonisation, these traitors still existed,” he said.

Gachagua said most of these leaders are working with external forces who are on a mission to divide the region.

“As a region, our strength is in our unity. We should work together to address the interests of the people who voted for us. Other regions are not fighting, people want us to fight so that we get lost,” he said.

Widening rift

The response came after Governor Anne Waiguru hit out at the Deputy President over what she termed as ‘personalisation of public offices’ in what seems to be a widening rift in the Mt Kenya region.

Waiguru noted that leaders should not personalise offices to the extent that it becomes taboo for anyone else to express ambition to occupy them.

“While we respect the office of the Deputy President, and indeed any other office of leadership, a progressive democracy does not allow us as occupiers of public leadership offices to personalise them to the extent that it becomes taboo for anyone else to nurture and express ambition to occupy them. We hold these offices in trust not as owners,” Governor Waiguru stated.

Waiguru termed as retrogressive a push by a section of Mt Kenya region to have the national cake shared based on population.

Opposing the revenue distribution formula, political leaders from the arid and semi-arid regions lashed out at Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua for allegedly pushing for the one-man-one-shilling mantra arguing that would further marginalise the northern Kenya and pastoralist areas.

Led by former Senate speaker Ekwe Ethuro and former Garissa governor Ali Korane, the leaders said the leadership pushing for the one man one vote one shilling are allegedly driven by selfish interests. “Incrementally the rest of the country is being marginalised because the formula is skewed to benefit populous regions,’’ former MP Isiolo South Abdul Bahari said.

Former Mandera Senator Mahalim Mohamud said there is an effort to undermine the constitution and claw back the gains made.

“We urge the president to reject such an attempt to claw back the gains of the constitution,” he said.

The leaders faulted Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua for allegedly supporting the push for one man one vote one shilling.

“We represent 70 per cent of Kenya and what to tell the DP that we as north Kenya leaders are not guests in Kenya. His remarks remind me of Charles Eliot saying he will not implore the queen to invest in the north because that would not benefit Kenya,” Mahamud said.

“Hasn’t Gachagua seen the constitution and when he took oath of office didn’t he say he will defend the constitution? Why has he become a regional leader?” he said.

The leaders challenged the DP to resign and seek an elective seat in his Mount Kenya region if he wanted to defend the interests of his people and not that of Kenyans.

“We have kept quiet for a long time until the DP made remarks that fly in the face of the constitution that he swore to defend,” he said.

The debate has elicited mixed reactions with National Assembly Majority Leader Kimani Ichung’wah saying that counties’ population cannot solely be used to determine their revenue share, arguing that there are less populous counties that generate more revenue than their more heavily settled counterparts.

“When I say there are regions that generate more revenue than others, we have a county that is not so big and among the country’s poorest; Kwale. But if you went to KRA books and looked at the revenue that comes from Kwale’s tourism and base titanium, it would beat what comes from other much larger, populous and less poor counties,” he said.

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