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Governor Roba opposed to revenue allocation formula

By John Muia - Jul 24th 2022
Mandera Governor Ali Roba. [David Njaaga, Standard]

Mandera governor Ali Roba has said he will oppose the one man-one-shilling formula of revenue sharing amongst counties.

Roba, who is seeking the senate seat in next month's elections said that if implemented, the formula will deny counties in Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASALs) the resources they deserve.

Those supporting the formula have argued that revenue sharing across the 47 counties should be premised on the needs of individual counties. They have argued that some counties have more needs than others and revenue should therefore be shared according to the population of a county.

The revenue formula made one of the proposals in the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) that meant to expand the Executive before the courts slammed breaks on the process.

Roba has vowed to fight the proposal if it is re-introduced. According to Roba, implementation of the formula will undo the gains of devolution by disadvantaging the marginalised counties.

"The President has given an indication on what direction his succession should take. However, we will not allow Azimio La Umoja coalition leaders to continue the idea of denying us revenue through a skewed formula. We will fight this plan to the end," Roba said.

He added: "This is what informed my decision to seek the senate seat so I can fight this discriminative formula if it is ever brought back to the House."

"The proposed revenue sharing formula has been in the senate before and we fought it fearlessly. We will rally all leaders to fight it so we can equitably share resources.

Proponents of the formula argue that the current formula allocates money to ‘to trees and animals’ as landmass is the key parameter hence favouring the vast counties with fewer people.

Roba, who is serving his final term as Mandera governor, said his United Democratic Movement (UDM) party will mobilize votes for Azimio presidential candidate Raila Odinga. 

He said the region decided to support Odinga’s bid because of his commitment to increasing revenue allocation to counties from the current 15 to 35 per cent.

“Mandera is a classic example of what devolution has done to counties. If less than 15 per cent allocation could do as much for areas previously marginalised and turn them into urban centres, you can only imagine what will happen if 35 per cent of revenues is given devolved units,” said Roba while on campaign trail on Sunday.

He noted that devolution came when virtually every sector including health, infrastructure, and education were in dire need of financial support.

“Before devolution, Mandera’s health index in terms of maternal mortality was the worst globally standing at 3,795 deaths per 100,000 live births. There were no roads and water,” he noted.

On his decision to rally behind Mohamed Adan Khalif's governor’s bid, Roba said he believes the aspirant, who is the current speaker of Mandera County Assembly, will continue with his legacy. 

“We have worked together to implement devolution and he has actively participated in the peace building efforts we have done in Mandera to achieve coexistence in Mandera. Khalif seems to understand the challenges people are facing on the ground and the clanism dynamics,” said Roba.  

He dismissed claims from opponents that his choice of governor’s candidate was to protect his political interests. Other candidates are former Cabinet Secretary Adan Mohamed of Jubilee Party, Hassan Noor Hassan of ODM and Ali Noor Aden from United Democratic Alliance (UDA).

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