Opposition leader Raila Odinga rejects the proposition to increase the number of counties, favoring instead a focus on the equitable allocation of resources to address issues of marginalization. Speaking at an Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) recruitment event in Malaba Town, Raila asserted that the initial establishment of 47 counties in Kenya, as determined during constitutional formation discussions, aimed to promote fair development.
The debate over the proposal to add eleven additional counties, including Kuria, Teso, Mount Elgon, East Pokot, Mwingi, Gucha, Suba, Ijara, Nakuru West, Wajir South, and Nyambene, has stirred discussions among legislators. They plan to submit a unified memorandum to the National Dialogue Committee, advocating for support on this proposal. However, the recent attempt to enact constitutional changes through the Building Bridges Initiative was deemed unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, resulting in its failure.
Citing the example of the United States, which has 52 states, Raila emphasized that the size of counties plays a pivotal role in streamlining development efforts. He remarked, “A nation like the United States has 52 states with Texas being bigger than Kenya. The country has 47 counties, and when the counties are large, development is well streamlined. Smaller counties are not the solution.”
Despite certain parliamentary caucuses advocating for the creation of additional counties to address constitutional matters, Raila maintains a contrary position. He supports the notion that effective resource distribution, rather than increasing the county count, is the key to addressing issues of marginalization and regional development disparities.