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Saturday, December 15, 2007

Why Kenya Needs Devolution Badly


For a start, I will let the figures do the talking:

KRA Tax collection 2004-5

Central Province Sh. 1.8 billion,
Nyanza Sh. 6.9 billion,
Western Sh. 5.5 billion,
Rift Valley Sh. 5.56 billion,
North Eastern Sh. 43 million,
Coast Sh. 2.7 billion and
Eastern Sh. 920 million

Allocation of Water Development Funds by Ministry of Finance (Treasury) 2004

Othaya Kshs. 595 million
Meru Kshs. 429 million

The rest of Kenya's 72 districts got Kshs. 5 million each!

Another eye opener is when one compares the government resource allocations in Turkana and Nyeri districts in the financial years 2003-4 and 2004-5.

Turkana District: 2003-4 (Kshs. 72.69) and 2004-5 (Kshs. 94.60),
Nyeri District: 2003-4 (Kshs. 320.42) and 2004-5 (Kshs. 685.69),

What makes these figures a bitter pill to swallow is the fact there are open disparities and a fraud on the Kenyan tax-payer when it comes to government 'development' allocations. For instance, it is a sad reality that officially Nyeri district is NOT classified as an Arid and Semi-Arid Land (ASAL) yet it has enjoyed a budgetary allocation for what is referred to as an ASAL projects for the last five years that Kibaki has been in power. Incidentally, the water development allocation referred to in the first part of this post formed the biggest percentage of the total annual budget. If this is not fraud, what is it?

On the other hand, Turkana District (which is not just the largest district in Kenya but home of the largest desert lake in world) is an ASAL area, a water scarce region inhabited by a highly marginalised Kenyan community yet it did NOT receive any ASAL allocations in the first two financial years of the so-called NARC government.

These allocations are also good indicator of how political power and economic resources are related. It is also a good reason for any right thinking citizen to support devolution of executive power so as to remove power from the centre and put it in the hands of the people themselves to decide which projects to fund using public money in the order of their own pre-determined priorities.

Devolution will eliminate the gross inequalities and marginalisation of certain communities so that all Kenyan people benefit equitably from existing and future development programmes.

12 comments:

Weider said...

hey phil. i am a supporter of devolution, which is why i am embarassed by your error in indicating othaya as a district-in terms of fund al location- while we all know its a constituency. now diehard pnu fellas wil call it cheap propaganda. please give us a hyperlink to the source of the fund allocation data.

Anonymous said...

This is the continuation of anti-Central, anti-kikuyu sentimentism. Wanna make kiuks feel least contributors to the national kitty and at the same time they are the ones who receive lion's share of the national cake? Majimbo aint gonna happen in Kenya because ethnic balkanization is the natural result of such a system. Mark my words, it WON'T happen. Kenya must remain a united country without regionalism. If you want a balkanized Kenya, look for another country. Am now convinced I want ODM out of the picture because of victimizing Central Province and its people, who are merely normal hardworking Kenyans. And they will always be FYI.

Mentalacrobatics said...

Hi. Please give us the source of these figures and this report. I heard Martin Shikuku mention the same and other similar figures on Classic FM the other week but failed to hear the source. I think he said it was a ActionAid report but haven’t been able to locate it thus far.
Please share the source.
Cheers

Silaha said...

Phil:

The question of "equitable" distribution of resources is valid, but open to wide (mis)interpretation. In my opinion, neither of Kenya's first two presidents gave more than mere lipservice to the concept of equity.

I am not an apologist for the Kibaki government -- it truly has had its share of foibles (as has been gleefully shared in this very blog by many a commentator). It is important, however, to acknowledge what the dramatic strides the Kibaki government has done in the area of equity, most notably by introducing the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) which, as Jerry Okungu noted, has been praised by many including Presidents Mbeki and Obassanjo to be "most effective way of equitably distributing national resources throughout the country from the treasury to without any biases".

On another note, I take issue with the "facts" you purport to share -- rather than rehash his argument I point you to Michael Chege's excellent essay on these very numbers you publish -- I will, however, quote an excerpt:

"The tax revenue figures ... are all contrived. The total tax collected in Kenya according to Muluka and company amounts to 23.7 billion shillings. In fact, Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) reported total tax collected in 2005 as 315 billion shillings—thirteen times more. Moreover, KRA does not keep records by provincial origin of tax payers. In economics, most indirect taxes fall on consumers. If KRA had kept tax figures by regional origin of the payer, they would have shown that trade-based taxes (value-added tax, excise, and custom duties) account for 55 percent of revenue and are levied predominantly on businesses in the most economically-active parts of the country—Nairobi, Central Province, Mombasa and Central Rift Valley. This applies to income tax as well which accounts for the balance of revenue."

-silaha

majitu said...

I can't understand how any right thinking Kenyan can vote for PNU. How cold can people be...asking for votes from the same you're stealing from! Don't forget, your children's future depends on your actions today!

Vikii said...

On August 26th 2006, I attended a church fundraiser presided over by Kalonzo in Kitui and he gave almost similar amounts allocated to Nyeri (There was nothing like Othaya district), Meru vis-a-vis other districts in kenya(With particular emphasis on Kitui which is an ASAL district). He also claimed that Meru Central was the single biggest beneficiary of the Rural Electrification program. Now, Kalonzo doesnt think for me and he never will but honestly, IF the water Budgetary allocation is correct, is that what anyone would call fairness? What is the guiding factor in the allocation of resources to the people? In my opinion, the guiding factors should be one need, and two, economic contribution. A Kshs 0.5 billion allocation to Nyeri district to supposedly take care of their water needs is not only a very serious insult to the rest of Kenya but it is also something that should make whoever the allocating authority is a very ashamed person. These are some of the stupid things that make people sick and rightly so!

I do not buy the crap that is Phil's revenue figures for the various regions for the simple reason that it is meant for consumption by a different breed of people. Anybody who feels it is not a bunch of non sense needs to tell me what it is that Nyanza did in 2004/2005 to enable them generate a higher revenue for the government than Nairobi, Central and R. Valley provinces. Where did he get the figures in the first place? I know there are District Development Committees where amounts allocated to different districts can be obtained. How can anyone claim to know how much taxes people in Kitui, Mbita or Bondo paid? How would you ascertain the VAT from those regions? In my opinion these are the kind of questions Taabu should be in the front line asking instead of just waiting in the wings to attack anybody opposed to the ODm and then claim horselessness!

All said and done, I do not think both Mwai Kibaki and Raila Odinga have what it takes to rid the country of favouritism, cronyism and corruption. They are both either masters of these practices themselves or are sorrounded by cartels of sharks itching to fleece Kenya dry. That's how I see it.

Taabu said...

I hear you Vikki loud and clear. But no thanks I need no prompting and you you chose to do that I fear I will have to disappoint you. As for being HORSELESS yes I shamesless remain one and don't sell me one because I don't know how to ride. You are partisan and I RESPECT that so please respect my take too, won't you bro?

Anonymous said...

The allocation in Nyeri is necessary; it is not for piping water to othaya residents, but is meant to address and strengthen the water catchments areas that supplier water to Nairobi. Failure to harvest and preserve Mt Kenya H20 reserves will lead to continuous water shortage in Nairobi.

Phil said...

Weider - my apologies - that should be Nyeri.

Mentalacrobatics these data are sourced from GoK's "Printed Development Expenditure Estimates", 2003–2004 and 2004–2005. These can be purchased from Government Printer, Nairobi. Unfortunately Government Printer does not have a website and hardly posts these documents anywhere on the www.

You guys may also be interested to read this report by Minorities Rights Group International, and take a good look at Table 5, that widely quotes the data on this posts.
http://www.cemiride.info/repository2/WebFiles/Kenya_Cemiride_Report.pdf

Be kind enough to post your comments here after reading the publications from government printer and cemiride. Thank You.

SHAKA said...

I understand the high figure allocation for water in Nyeri is because the region supplies most of the water used in nairobi.Could someone confirm whether this is true?

Phil said...

Guys, what are we trying to imply here? What exactly are the Mt. Kenya Water Reserves and catchment areas?

My understanding is that water supplies in Nairobi are the sole responsibility of the Nairobi Water & Sewarage Company. This is a PRIVATE company that is wholly owned by the Nairobi City Council - a civic body that also receives LATF. The NW&SC owns and maintains all water dams, treatment plants, pipe work, etc that supply water to Nairobi. They are also the ones who conceive all projects for supplying water to Nairobi municipality.

Proud Kikuyu Woman said...

...And the dams that supply water to Nairobi are their own sources of water.
Ever heard of the Nairobi river and its sources? Don't even there-the Nyandarua/Aberdare forest and why MONEY, lots more, needs to be allocated to preserve it so Nairobians can drink.
One thing is for sure, whoever wins this elections, we will be at a fever pitch again exactly five years from now, asking for another (fourth, fifth or sixth? I can't keep up) liberation. PKW atakuwa pare pare tu.

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