Why Raila Odinga, Rigathi Gachagua are pulling together

Raila Odinga speaks at Chungwa House, Nairobi, when he received resolutions made during the Limuru 3 conference. [Samson Wire, Standard]

ODM leader Raila Odinga and one of his harshest critic, Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua, are now supporting the controversial One Man, One Vote, One Shilling model of resource allocation.

He said he was ready to work with everybody in the country, including Gachagua, even as he acknowledged that One Man, One Vote, One Shilling model was unpopular in some quarters.

Raila, who is Azimio La Umoja coalition party leader, said the One Man, One Vote, One Shilling model as advocated during the Limuru 3 conference was captured during the Building Bridges Initiative and was aimed at ensuring equity in development.

The Limuru 3 conference was convened by Raila's running mate in the last presidential poll Martha Karua, who is also Narc Kenya party leader, Jubilee Party Secretary-General Jeremiah  Kioni and a host of other leaders from Mt Kenya region. 

Raila, who was speaking at Chungwa House in Nairobi when he received resolutions made during the Limuru 3 conference, said the proposal was aimed at ensuring equity where all Kenyans get fair share of development from the government.

The former prime minister said devolution was about sharing resources across the country.

He refuted claims that the proposed model was aimed at discriminating some parts of the country.

Raila said he was happy Gachagua had seen the light and was pushing for One Man, One Vote, One Shilling model since this will ensure that there is equity in development.

Gachagua has been pushing for the model, noting that the more taxes that Kenyans pay, the more resources they should be allocated by the government, arguing that there is no way a constituency like Ruiru with 800,000 people can get a similar amount of money with one with less than 20,000 people.

Raila revealed that former President Uhuru Kenyatta fully supports his Africa Union Commission chairmanship bid just like the government of Kenya was now fully engaged in ensuring the seat gets to Kenya and he was doing everything possible not to miss out in this chance of a lifetime.

The Opposition leader said that devolution is about equity in sharing of resources and that every Kenyan should get a fair share of national resources.

He said an open conversation is required on this matter, noting that if the BBI was approved, this could have been implemented to the letter.

The Opposition leader said Kenyans were currently hurting and some proposals contained in the Finance Bill will make their lives even harder.

He urged the leadership of Azimio in Parliament to make their position clearly known since citizens should not continue suffering as they watch.

Former Laikipia Governor Nderitu Mureithi said their push aims to have devolution implemented fully and they have not suggested that resources should be taken from elsewhere to Mount Kenya as it is being alleged by the detractors of the unity that they have displayed.

“What we are asking is for wasteful expenditure at national level to be stopped while the duplication of devolved functions be halted, with the necessary resources following the functions at county levels. We are not asking much, we just want equity in development,” said Mureithi. 

Mr Kioni said the Limuru 3 meeting was organised by ordinary people in Mount Kenya with the resolution to reach to other Kenyans who have been affected by the pain meted on citizens by the ruling Kenya Kwanza coalition.

Kioni said what was crucial to them were the issues that ordinary Kenyans are complaining about and unlike what was being peddled around.

He said the Mount Kenya people were not uniting against other Kenyans but were pushing to have equity for development in all regions.

He said that they had agreed to work under one umbrella grouping known as HAKI Movement with former President Uhuru Kenyatta as the patron since he is not currently involved in active politics and does not intend to contest for any seat in future.

“Former President Uhuru Kenyatta remains the Mount Kenya leader until a decision to change that is made by the area residents. We would also like to make it clear that we are not shareholders in the disaster that is being meted upon Kenyans by the current regime,” said Kioni.

The Jubilee secretary-general emphasized that although they are pushing for the One Man, One Vote, One Shilling for the national government to give them what is due to them, they are not out to fight anyone or to benefit at the expense of other Kenyans.

Kioni made it clear that what they are advocating  is for those who are getting development to continue getting that while they also get their share, saying that those who are pushing for 41 communities against one community agenda as being misguided.