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Former PM Odinga pledges support to Somali traders in Nairobi, dismisses accusations over revenue allocation

Wednesday September 1, 2021

NAIROBI (HOL)  - Kenya’s former prime minister Raila Odinga has assured the Somali business community in Nairobi that he will be engaging the government to address challenges facing traders in the city.

Speaking following a meeting with representatives of the business community in Eastleigh area, Odinga said the government must provide an enabling environment for business noting the Somali community had contributed significantly in the business sector.

“It is the responsibility of the government to provide an environment for business to thrive,” Odinga said noting a conducive environment is ‘absolutely necessary.’ The former PM who is also the leader of the opposition party ODM highlighted issues facing the business community in Eastleigh.

He mentioned what the traders were punitive taxes, poor road network and garbage collection and drainage.

Odinga also refuted claims that he was against the distribution of national revenue based on other development factors besides population.

“I made a comparison between Mandera and Kiambu county. I said it was not right that Mandera with a population of 800,000 should be getting Ksh. 12 billion while Kiambu with a population of 2.5 million getting Ksh. 9 billion,” Odinga said.
“ I said it’s not fair to the people of Kiambu and I also qualified that we should not deny the people of Mandera their rights.”

There has been a long-running debate in Kenya over revenue allocation.

Densely populated counties such as those in central and Rift Valley regions have pushed for a ‘one man one vote one shilling’ approach while those in sparsely populated areas such a northeastern regions have demanded other parameters such as landmass and poverty levels be adopted in revenue distribution.


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