One Man One Vote One Shilling is significant because it aims to push our political structure towards equal representation.The Constitution provides for equity-based revenue sharing but also one that uplifts poorer counties.
There is also consensus that a more developed county like Nairobi with its enormous population can not be overlooked in favor of let’s say Lamu, since they both have different needs.
Take the following situation , for example, to understand how this philosophy works.
Upon their dad’s passing, three brothers had a rough time finding out how 17 camels can be shared. Prior to his death, the elderly man had said that the eldest son would own half of the 17 camels; the middle one would have a third, and the youngest a ninth.
A wise man gave his own camel to make it easier for the three brothers to share the inheritance amongst themselves.The wise man divided the camels and offered nine camels to the eldest child, then offered the second son 6, and after that gave the youngest two.
The wise man took back his camel after the sharing was done.
The One Man, One Vote, One Shilling Stalemate
In the last few weeks, Kenyans have swiftly followed the discussion on revenue sharing among local governments. There’s still a stalemate over the formula that the Revenue Allocation Commission has come up with.
This shouldn’t be overlooked since we started off with devolved powers. Its the third step and is the product of insights got during the last seven years. It is also found that the current formula for revenue-sharing is undoubtedly inadequate.
As such the method for revenue sharing should be rational, and one man, one vote and one shilling should endorse it.
A higher population puts more pressure on service delivery and hence the need for a higher revenue allocation.
That’s why in this discussion, rather than arguing over who is losing what or who is gaining what, we have to try to answer the concern about what is fair and equal.
To get started, we need to go back to the CRA proposal first. The suggested framework, as per the CRA, draws on the knowledge gained from a thorough second-basis analysis.
CRA has said it conducts a comparative study of funding transfer schemes from other nations, including comprehensive meetings with national government , local governments, public finance experts, and the public in explaining the formula.
As per CRA, the plan aims at addressing six primary goals: improving service quality, fostering sustainable growth, encouraging counties, maximizing efficiency , increasing revenue, and encouraging responsible use of government resources.
Overall, the national government allocates 65% of revenue to enhance the delivery of public services.It gives 31% to facilitate sustainable growth and 4% to encourage tax collection and fiscal responsibility.
For so many years, we have seen delegations headed to State house to request for development funds for their regions. Unfortunately, this stupid trend continues to this day. But what’s the contrast to the current formula?
The new model has population (45%), equity stake (26%), income inequality (18%), landmass (8%) and growth index (1%).
Minimum Allocation Per County
Thus, in the new formula, the service provision aspect handles things like health , agriculture, rural communities in a county, whereas other operations are population-based. And there is a defined of minimum allocation for each county.
Nobody should be scheduling development begging meetings at State House. Devolution is the solution.
It isn’t more of how much money a county receives, but how the allocation fulfills the unique needs within each county.
Consequently, as this discussion of One Man One Vote One Shilling rages on, senators should address each county individually as well as its needs. They should address their needs in line with the proposed formula.
There have been available data from last year’s census that can be used for each of the variables.
Kenyans should not be split into political factions or along regional lines. The architects need to consider what is best for the residents of the respective counties.
Patriotic Kenyans can’t neglect this nation’s marginalised populations. One Man One Vote One Shilling is the solution to marginalisation.
Around the same time, we can not disregard the fact that Nairobi, Kiambu, Bungoma, Kakamega and Mombasa are overwhelmingly heavily populated and produce more wealth, and should therefore not be blamed for being what they are in terms of population and growing revenue.
How Are We To Balance The Equation?
We should have a strategy comparable with that of the Marshall Plan as far as the One Man One Vote One Shilling bill is concerned. For those that don’t know what the Marshall Plan is, it’s identified as the European Recovery Programme.
This was an American program designed to offer assistance to Western Europe due to the outbreak of the Second World War. It was launched in 1948 and delivered more than $15 billion to help finance the reconstruction of the continent.
Nowadays, Europe is a testimony to the achievement of the Marshall Plan.
In Kenya, we need a president ready to take the bull by the horns and have a “KENYA Program”. This is meant to uplift the oppressed counties by setting up a separate fund for them and have major capital projects as well as invest heavily in human growth.
There should be a deadline for these programs so that, by the time the time frame is finished, the country as a whole can see what our money has achieved.
Let’s get revenue distribution centered on One Man , One Vote, One Shilling.
At the same time, let us create a special fund for the marginalized counties. Finally finance them to embark on a serious plan to align themselves with the so-called established counties.
Leave No Kenyan Behind
Devolution is designed to bring people closer to the services. This is aimed at creating opportunities for the locals.
More importantly, devolution levels the playing field. This is particularly true for impoverished areas that have long been ignored by successive regimes.
There should never be some kind of “one shoe fits all” regulations. One man, One Vote One shilling, must be carefully analyzed to avoid political and tribal emotions.
Unless the advocates of the One Man, One Vote, One Shilling proposal make it a national entity. It will not succeed. The proposal intends to help all Kenyans not only the people of Mt Kenya.
The advocates also need to collaborate with other heavily populated counties such as Kakamega, Kisii, Kisumu, Vihiga and Bungoma.
People advancing for or against this One Man, One Vote Policy, must be seen as pushing the agenda without a tribal or political input or else it will seem as if this is a mere scheme of political dominance to control parliament and senate by members from one region.
If that is the case then all Kenyans must reject it.
The One Man, One Vote, One Shilling, while making it sound good on paper, shouldn’t be seen as a political weapon against the rest of Kenya by members of one region to perpetuate authoritarian rule, and if that is the case, it must be dismissed strongly.