Sharing of revenue set to dominate BBI debate

Monday, February 24th, 2020 07:50 |
Part of the crowd that attended the Building Bridges Initiative rally at the William Ole Ntimama Stadium, in Narok, on Saturday acclaim a resolution read by the leaders. PD/ALEX MBURU

Division of revenue could be the next battlefront between the proponents of the Building the Bridges Initiative (BBI), with leaders from the expansive but sparsely populated regions pushing to have land area as the main criteria for the distribution.

Leaders from the Maa community, which occupies vast constituencies, have proposed what they call the “one-shilling-one-kilometre” formula which is expected to be opposed by leaders from densely populated regions where politicians want revenue to be distributed on “one-man-one-shilling” basis.

Having resources shared based on land area was one of the main agenda during the Narok BBI rally which brought together politicians and professionals from the Narok, Kajiado, Samburu as well as Maa leaders from Laikipia, Baringo and Isiolo counties.

The leaders, in joint resolutions read out by Kajiado Governor Joseph Ole Lenku at William ole Ntimama grounds in Narok Town, said other criteria were unjust to them since their population is less compared to some communities.

“Allocation of resources should be based on geographical parameters, status of development and historical marginalisation: One Shilling - One Kilometre,” Lenku.


Further, the governor, in the resolutions, which were handed over to former Prime Minister Raila Odinga who was the chief guest and who was tasked to pass it to the BBI taskforce, said Maa counties and constituencies should be protected.

Leaders have also made similar suggestions from North Eastern which have huge land mass, an issue likely to trigger debate in the BBI campaign which is a product of the March 9, 2018 handshake between President Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila.

The Commission on Revenue Allocation (CRA) has already proposed new revenue sharing formula, which if approved by the Senate will favour populous counties.

The proposed new formula gives a 20 percent boost on the population parameter, and will see counties which have been benefiting more on land mass have their allocation deducted.

Under the population parameter, the commission has picked various index from the devolved services based on a county’s population, whereby besides the basic minimum share which covers 20 percent, health (17 per cent), agriculture (10 per cent) while the other services cover 18 per cent.  

Under the current formula, population covers 45 percent, basic equal share (25 per cent), poverty (20 per cent), land area (eight per cent) and fiscal responsibility (two per cent), and leaders, mostly from Mount Kenya protested that it shortchanged populated counties claiming that the last count was skewed.

For the development component, CRA, in the draft formula proposed that the amount to be allocated per county be decided based on four variables:  roads, urban services, land area and poverty.

Rural access index

On roads (four per cent), the framework, according to the commission, uses a rural access index, urban service (five per cent uses number of urban households, and land area (eight per cent) uses the proportion of the land size of a county while poverty 14 per cent the framework uses the proportion of poor people.

The Kenyan National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) in its last year’s population census listed Kikuyu community as the most populous in the country with a population of 8,148, 668, Luhya community comes second with 6,823,842 followed by the Kalenjin which has a tally of 6,358,113 people.

The Mijikenda, Meru and Maasai took positions 8,9 and 10 with populations of 2,488,691, 1,975,869 and 1,189,522 respectively and Maa leaders believed that is the population parameter in prioritised, they will get less revenue.

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