The leader of Majority in the National Assembly Aden Duale has called for the removal of 14 counties from the Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASAL) list.
Speaking during the inaugural ASAL conference, Duale threatened to mobilise devolved units to move to court to challenge the increment of marginalised counties from 14 to 34.
“It is against the spirit of the Constitution to increase the number of counties to share the Equalization Fund from 14 to 34. We will contest the move in the court,” said Mr Duale.
MPs and leaders from the original ASAL counties want the ‘new’ counties removed, saying adding them would bring back marginalisation through the backdoor.
Duale sentiments come in the wake of a fresh debate on the inclusion of more arid and semi-arid counties to share the Equalisation Fund.
Fourteen counties regarded as marginalised got included in the Equalisation Fund so they could be at par with the rest of the country. But the Commission on Revenue Allocation increased marginalised counties to 34 from 14 to benefit from state-funded multi-million projects to facilitate access to basic services.
Among the counties Duale raised concern about were Kiambu, Meru, Nyeri and Tharaka Nithi.
However Duale’s sentiments were dismissed by Meru governor Kiraitu Murungi who noted that 15 of the 45 wards in his county were ASAL.
“I wish to reiterate that my people who live in the marginalized areas have every right to be heard, served and represented and that is why I am attending the ASAL counties’ Conference in Kilifi” Said Mr. Murungi.
Deputy President William Ruto, who attended the meeting, dismissed the calls to sue the CRA and instead urged Duale to engage the commission to solve the matter amicably.