Base revenue sharing formula on population, Gachagua says

Gachagua pending bills

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua has urged governors to settle pending bills.

Photo credit: JOSEPH KANYI | NATION

What you need to know:

  • He lamented that it was unfair that a constituency like Ruiru in Kiambu County, which has a population of more than 800,000 people, receives the same amount of money from the National Government Constituency Development Fund as smaller constituencies with few people.

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua has waded into the emotive debate on the sharing of revenue between counties and the national government, saying, resources should be shared as per the populations in each region.

Addressing the faithful at St Peters Anglican Cathedral in Siakago, Embu County during the consecration of assistant Bishop-elect for Mbeere Diocese, Dr John Kimani Nthiga yesterday, the DP insisted that the revenue-sharing formula should be based on population rather than landmass “so that residents from populated areas such as Mt Kenya could benefit”.

“I’m a proponent of the one-man-one vote-one shilling mantra,” he said. More than 15 bishops from across the country, alongside residents and local politicians, attended the ceremony.

“The whole issue of resources is about people and fairness should be exercised when it comes to sharing of revenue,” he said.

He lamented that it was unfair that a constituency like Ruiru in Kiambu County, which has a population of more than 800,000 people, receives the same amount of money from the National Government Constituency Development Fund to smaller constituencies with few people.

“The more you are, the more taxes you pay. And it goes without saying, the more taxes you pay when it comes to sharing of revenue, you should benefit more,” he said. “We want equity and fairness in sharing of revenue.”

He was responding to remarks made by Embu Governor Cecily Mbarire, who said that the counties in Mt Kenya region are being given a raw deal in allocation of resources. She said it was sad that the Revenue Sharing Formula didn't take into account the issue of population.

“Our counties are highly populated and what we receive as revenue is peanuts compared to other counties that have few people,” said Ms Mbarire.

Ms Mbarire said it was disheartening that even the arid Mbeere North and Mbeere South constituencies in the county don't receive money from the Equalisation Fund.

Mr Gachagua advised Mt Kenya residents to stay united, saying,“our unity is our strength; do not allow anyone to divide you.”

He added that the government will repair roads and other infrastructure that were destroyed by the floods, while victims will get food supplies from the government. The Deputy President insisted that the war against illicit brews was unstoppable.

He called on the Church to join the war to save the youth.

Separately in Kiambu County, Governor Kimani Wamatangi revived his one man-one vote-one shilling campaign and demanded that the county be given six more constituencies for equitable distribution of resources.

The governor pledged to make a strong pitch to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission during the upcoming boundaries review.

He said Kiambu county, with a population of approximately three million people, should have better representation in the National Assembly.

The governor also wants Thika, which has a population of over 500,000 people, to be split into Thika East and Thika West constituencies. The last boundary review that created the 290 constituencies was undertaken in February 2012. Mr Wamatangi asked Mt Kenya leaders to use President William Ruto’s goodwill for the region to get more gains

Ruiru MP Kin’gara said the people in his constituency have been given a raw deal in the distribution of national resources.

Mr King’ara said one MP represents Ruiru, yet some counties, which have voters who are half its population density, have a governor, senator, woman representative, and two members of Parliament.