Wajir Senate aspirant Abdullahi Hassan popularly known as Domey has faulted governors from the Northern frontier counties for mismanaging country funds meant for the development of the once marginalized Northern Kenya.
Domey, a vibrant youth leader from the region says that although the introduction of devolution was meant for the FCDC counties to gain a footing in terms of development, seven years later, Northern counties are more marginalized than ever before.
Domey’s sentiments come as the Senate grapples with a new revenue sharing formula proposed by the Commission of Revenue Allocation that has been opposed by county chiefs from arid and semi-arid areas in Kenya. Leaders from 10 other counties, mainly North-eastern and parts of Rift Valley have also called on the senators to defer the new formula by at least a year.
In the new proposal, 18 counties stand to lose up to Sh17 billion if the method is adopted by the Senate. The losing counties are mainly in the Coast, Northeastern and Eastern regions. It gives population a weight of 16 per cent, health (20), agriculture (12), basic share (20), poverty (15), land area (five) and urban (four).
If approved as it is, the biggest losers would be Wajir (Sh2 billion based on analysis of the Sh314 billion shareable revenues), Marsabit and Mandera (Sh1.9 billion each), Garissa (Sh1.6 billion), Tana River (Sh1.5 billion), Mombasa (Sh1.6 billion) and Kwale (Sh1 billion). Winners would be Kiambu (Sh1.3 billion), Nairobi (Sh1.2b), Uasin Gishu (Sh923m), Nandi (Sh788m), Kajiado (Sh765m), Nakuru (Sh744m), Laikipia (Sh660m, Trans Nzoia (Sh656m), Kirinyaga (Sh538m), Baringo (Sh537m), Bomet (Sh456m) and West Pokot (Sh444m).
However as the leaders beg for more time, Domey asks “What has the Northern counties done with the previous budget allocations given to them since devolution?” He says that seven years post devolution, the Northern counties have nothing to show for in terms of development with the region still lagging behind in development index despite having a large landmass with many untapped resources.
Domey who recently announced that he will be running for Member of Parliamnet in 2022 has called on to the youth from the region to be relevant in matters decision making and governance since they are the leaders of tomorrow.
He has alluded to schemes by the leaders from the region to lock out youth from decision making and employment opportunities. He describes how unfortunate it is for the region to have high levels of poverty which stands at 70% and also have poor access to basic social services such as roads, electricity connection and water supply.
Kiambu Senator Kimani Wamatangi has defended the new revenue sharing formula saying it would ensure equity in distribution of resources saying that the debate here is not about being unfair to some counties, but to ensure that all counties are treated equally.
“The marginalized counties have for the past seven years been allocated huge funds to speed development while the developed ones were left with little for development and this cannot be allowed to continue because we will end up creating new marginalized counties,” Says Wamatangi.