Photo: Coast kingpin and Mombasa governor Ali Hassan Joho has not offered any comment on the CRA revenue sharing formula, Coast and Northern Frontier counties region are worst affected
By Mwai Wachira
One man one shilling mantra is simplistic
The essence of devolution was, and still is to take services closer to the people. The operative word here is closer and this brings in the distance people have to travel to access the services. There are counties that densely populated but small in size and others that are sparsely populated but vast in size. One facility in a densely populated county can serve many people comfortable without the people having to travel long distances. In a sparsely populated county however, one facility could be serving less people but majority of the people will have to travel long distances to access the service.
Let’s take an example of a densely populated county with a population of 500,000 and a size of 10,000 square km and another sparsely populated county with a population of 100,000 and size of 100,000 square km. In the county with a population of 500,000 people, 50 medical facilities could serve the people comfortably, taking into consideration the number of people being attended and the distance they have to travel. On the other, the county with 100,000 people, 50 facilities would not be enough if we factor in the distance people have to travel to access the services, this would mean building more facilities, maybe 50 more. The medical facilities in the sparsely populated county will definitely have less patients, but this can be balanced by having fewer medical staff and in any case, government is all about giving services and not making profits.
What the drafters of the constitution might have had in mind in some sort of affirmative action. The marginalized counties which happen to be vast started at 0%, the densely populated started at around 40%. It is therefore sensible to allow the marginalized counties bring up their infrastructure to at least 30% and then from there, we can start asking questions. The spirit of inclusiveness is also there in presidential elections where a winning president is expected to win with at least 25% in half of the counties.
That the one man one shilling campaign is led by Kikuyu politicians has not surprised Kenyans as Kikuyus are known to be inward looking. Jubilee the party Kikuyus supported got many votes in the North Eastern yet that is now all forgotten. I would rather ODM, the party that stands by its friends, the coast voted for ODM and it is only fair for the party to stand by its supporters. Irungu Kangata, the face of this campaign should tell Kenyans why the PS for water is always in Murang’a sinking boreholes, yet we don’t see him do the same in arid and semi arid areas that need the boreholes more