Lets not lead Devolution into Dissolution

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Second chairman of the Council of Governors and Meru Governor Peter Munya addresses guests at The 2016 annual devolution conference.

The Kenyan General elections are around the corner. Potential contenders are subtly starting to push their agendas in hopes of recapturing/ capturing the wide array of seats available. The new constitution increased the elective posts available for grabs. The intention was to boost the representation of citizens but this to some was a boost in their odds of joining politics. This constitutional overhaul birthed two new positions that eventually became the nations most coveted seats. The Governor and the Member of the county assembly.

The Governor runs a county  in almost the same manner the president runs the country. Kenya’s counties were derived from its former districts and currently we have 47 of these Sovereign units. On the other side there’s the Members of the county assembly who are like MP’s but at the county level. They represent citizens in the small jurisdiction within the county called wards. The position is attractive due to its low expense considering the geographical size of a ward is not too large. Also, the MCA has access to the county governor who controls billions of shillings and as we all know, power is in the hands of he who controls resources.

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Machakos Governor Dr. Alfred Mutua addresses a sitting of the county assembly

The access that an MCA has to a county governor may however be more dangerous than advantageous. The MCA’s posses the constitutional power to impeach governors and many use this power as a way of milking cash from the coffers of the county. They often pass laws drafted directly from the governors office that may not be at heart of the majorities interest. In return for their support they are rewarded generously. They may receive money directly or receive development in their jurisdiction and thus causing some areas to be neglected.

County Governors are also famous for their lavish lifestyles. We can all remember that one of the first ways their impact was felt was by hoisting the Kenyan flag on their outrightly expensive automobiles and coining themselves with the title ‘His Excellency’. In addition to this they started using official convoys to ferry their tight security detail and other aides. And then there was Bungoma. The county purchased wheelbarrows sporting galvanized metal at a whopping 100,000 ksh each. At this point the absurdity of how devolution was being undertaken had started to sink in.

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The Position however, is a blessing that is being misused. After a long time of dependency and neglect from the central government, people now have the chance to be in control of their development and exercise their own sovereignity. People are now able to participate in the budget making function, representation is down to the grassroots, the development projects are visibly impacting lives, job opportunities have been created and the list goes on.

The people of Kenya chose this new constitution for our betterment. This was a great achievement but however that didn’t conclude our strive to greatness. We are still obligated to placing the right people into these positions. We may not all have the ability to see through unjust individuals but however we have the ability to learn from mistakes and make a better choice in our next opportunity. Forget Tribe, Background, and wealth the next time you are at the ballot box. Vote for Love, Vote for Peace, Vote for Honesty, Vote for Integrity, and most of all Vote wisely. Be blessed dear reader.

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