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New revenue sharing formula unfair to marginalized counties, Ali Roba says

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Mandera governor Ali Roba has criticized the proposed revenue allocation formula for counties saying it’s unfair to disadvantaged communities and reinforces policies that promote inequalities.

The Commission on Revenue Allocation on Tuesday announced the new formula that pegs amount of funds to be allocated to individual counties on the strength of their utilization and not population scales.

This means counties with a higher service delivery index will henceforth draw more resources from the national government regardless of their population.

The move is aimed at curbing wastage in the counties.

While releasing the proposals, CRA chairperson Jane Kiringai said service delivery in counties will account for 69 per cent of how much each county will be allocated.

The development component takes 26 per cent while revenue and efficiency component takes five per cent.

Read: Coast counties on losing side as revenue allocation team revises formula

But Roba said the move is unfair to marginalized counties whose needs vary from those of fairly developed counties.

“After 50 years of deliberate successive marginalization by regimes of Jomo Kenyatta, Daniel Moi, Mwai Kibaki, there was glimmer of hope that devolution would guarantee socio-economic development in the ASAL counties,” he said.

“But what we are witnessing is bureaucrats sitting in Nairobi and stifling resources meant for marginalized counties. They have picked allies to sit at CRA to sing to their tunes in a partisan manner,” Roba said.

The governor, who is also the chairperson of the Frontier Counties Development Council, said the formula claws back on the gains made so far in devolution.

He said the formula reverts the responsibility of determining the development of counties back to the national government.

Roba termed the new method as a big blow to the gains devolution has made in the ASAL counties.

“This is the worst that has befallen us and Kenyans must brace for recentralization of resources to benefit a few people in partisan design,” Roba said.

He said the system treats residents of counties in arid and semi arid areas like third class and fourth rate citizens.

CRA, however, defended the formula saying it’s aimed at scaling up service provision at the grassroots where devolved units have been accused of blowing up billions on wages and non-essential activities.

The new formula is expected to be in effect for the next five financial years starting from 2019/2020, surpassing the previous one that lasted three years.

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