Raila shouldn’t support one vote – one shilling

As a nationalist, Raila should reject the one vote - one shilling formula for funding devolution.

In Summary

• The one vote - one shilling formula favours smaller more densely populated counties

• Opposition leader Raila Odinga has recently joined DP Rigathi Gachagua in calling for one vote - one shilling

Azimio leader Raila Odinga on June 5, 2024.
Azimio leader Raila Odinga on June 5, 2024.

Opposition leader Raila Odinga has always stood as a nationalist. His appeal crossed regional lines. His titanic battle for the presidency with William Ruto in 2022 boiled down to who would get the most votes in Central.

It is therefore both surprising and unsurprising that Raila has suddenly endorsed the one vote – one shilling mantra of Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua.

This campaign is designed to win votes in Central because it will pump money into smaller densely populated counties at the expense of larger less heavily populated counties. Perhaps Raila hopes that this will win him votes in Central but it will certainly lose him votes in northern and coastal Kenya.

There is a carefully determined formula to provide funds for devolved government. This takes into account area as well as population.

Obviously it is more costly to maintain roads and other facilities in large counties and that needs to be catered for. If the formula only considers population, then that disadvantages a large part of Kenya.

So if Raila wants to maintain his nationalist credentials, he should drop his support for one vote - one shilling.

Quote of the day: “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

Nelson Mandela 
The ANC leader was sentenced to life in prison on June 12, 1964

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