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ROBA: “The push for One-Man-One-Vote-One-Shilling revenue-sharing formula is fundamentally flawed”

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By: Ali Roba

“The slogan ‘one man, one shilling, one vote,’ championed by some leaders, is a fundamentally flawed stance that underscores a deep-seated greed which seems insatiable.

Representing 17.13% of Kenya’s population, the Kikuyu are the largest of the 44 tribes, yet they have historically received a disproportionate share of national resources under three presidents from the Mt. Kenya region: Jomo Kenyatta, Mwai Kibaki, and Uhuru Kenyatta.

This disparity seems to have cultivated a misguided belief among some Mt. Kenya leaders that they are the rightful owners of Kenya, with the remaining 43 tribes merely guests.

Current Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua exemplifies this confusion more than any other. As the nation’s second-in-command, he should embody the hopes and responsibilities of the entire country, not just one region.

 

 

Yet, his recent statements and advocacy for the ‘one-man, one-shilling, one-vote’ policy suggest he views himself more as a local MP than as a national leader. This misrepresentation is detrimental to his role and could undermine his effectiveness as Deputy President.

Despite having numerous government positions including the Deputy President, nine Cabinet members, and various other key roles in the National Assembly and Senate, the Mt. Kenya region continues to receive the lion’s share of government appointments and resources.

This over-representation has facilitated an environment where they can lobby for skewed development allocations, in favour of Mt Kenya region rather than being loud about it.

To provide accurate context on the influence of the Kikuyu community, it’s crucial to consider their voter demographics and turnout trends. There are approximately 5 million registered Kikuyu voters, with significant populations in counties like Kiambu, where they number around 1,293,309 (over 85% of voters), Murang’a with 628,416 (over 90%), and Nyeri with 492,046 (over 90%).

However, historical trends indicate an average voter turnout of 60% to 70%. This means the actual voting bloc of the Kikuyu in elections is closer to 3.5 million, challenging the narrative of an overwhelming majority and highlighting the necessity for coalition-building.

The Limuru 3 meeting, convened by some Kikuyu leaders, seems poised to further expose their self-serving intentions, potentially prompting the other 43 tribes to form a coalition against such overt self-interest.

The inflated claims of having 9 million votes, as asserted by Jeremiah Kioni, are countered by these voter turnout figures, emphasizing the need for Kikuyu intellectuals to revisit their strategies. Their influence is not as absolute as they presume and can only be sustained through genuine partnerships.

President William Ruto, known for his astute political strategy, has already navigated past challenges posed by the Kikuyu elite, including a significant defeat of Uhuru Kenyatta in his own backyard.

The Kikuyu community must recognize that they need President Ruto more than he needs them and should focus on building strategic alliances based on mutual respect and truth, rather than threats and false claims of supremacy.

Mr. Rigathi Gachagua needs to understand that Kenya is defined by its people and its geographical boundaries equally. The leaders from Mt. Kenya might boast about their population, but the ASAL regions comprise over 80% of the land mass in Kenya , and resource allocation should consider both factors. If the leaders from Mt. Kenya are discontent, they are free to seek changes through mechanisms like a referendum.

This is not the 1960s; resource allocation patterns cannot be dictated to cause suffering to the ASALs through deliberate denial by successive regimes. Today, the constitution reigns supreme, and all regions must engage in moderated, sober discussions to address our challenges collectively.

No single tribe can effect change alone; we must work together in the spirit of compromise and accommodation.


Ali Roba is the current Senator of Mandera County. He also served two times as the governor of the same county.

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