In some areas I admire the wisdom of the committee of experts that drafted the constitution of Kenya for their smart knowledge of democracy. Already the Governors are elected by the people of the county as well as the Members of County Assembly that represent their Wards but the same MCAs can arm twist the Governor to give them gratuities and Ward Development Fund which they benefit from. Who does not know in Kenya how corrupt are the MCAs. Who does not know that MCAs have accumulated wealth out of the money meant to develop the people and put in place infrastructures. Only a stranger would say that MCAs should elect the Governor.
Lets be sober and uphold the constitution. A Governor elected by the MCAs just like the County Assembly Speaker would be useless. This would be a way of looting the public funds and nothing will work. Lets not think that the constitution is something that one can wake up and say, we must change the constitution.
I still believe that Kenya can be well governed and the administration structure can be revised and even modified to meet the objectives of the state. Counties are just devolved powers that are meant to take services to the people in their areas. But unfortunately, the 47 counties in Kenya have become a devolution of corruption. MCAs have accumulated a lot of wealth from dirty games and failure to oversee the executive. If the Governor fails to comply with their demand then either they call for impeachment or they decide not to pass the Budget Bill. They are armed with techniques to put pressure on the Governor whom they do not elect. However, the MCAs feel that they own their Wards and can rally the people against the sitting Governor.
Nobody had expected such things to happen at the time the new constitution was voted in the referendum on 4th August of 2010. Now the question is, how should we tame and contain the MCAs?
The Ward Administration Committees are not even in place in many Counties and each MCA is a Boss in his own area. What they do with the allocated development fund is a question many citizens would ask. They spend millions of money for their own personal property but there are no feeder roads or, at least, a borehole. They prey on the sufferings of the people and lie that the national government is not sending the money. How can a mere MCA build his home worth over 40 million of shillings? Even a hard working professor cannot dream of such a thing in his life time, and how about an MCA who has been in the office for 3 years? The same MCAs would demand a tour in Israel, in India, in China and in Brazil to enjoy themselves with excuse that they are learning how to implement development. Where on earth the legislator whose duty is to make laws, oversee the executive among other things turn to be the administrator and manager of public funds? Who does not know that every MCA is just like a MP whose main goal is what comes into their personal savings? The political leadership lacks the interest to serve the constituents and lets not lie that such people will bring change.
Devolution that Kenya embraced on 27th August 2010 has been turned into another way of corruption. Anti-graft team has not even found ways of reaching out to the Counties as the work is too much and they risk being threatened. Counties have become havens for corruption while Wards are even worse. Political leaders have become small gods who are untouchable by poor constituents.
The time the President questioned the governors to show what they do with the money before asking for an increase, none of them was ready to account but to threaten to campaign against him. This is why many Governors will be comfortable to be in the opposition. This is where they can make their bargain for funds. Governors in the ruling party may not enjoy much as those in the opposition. Those in the opposition are defended by the opposition to the extent of claiming that the traditional practice of using the portrait of the President should be pulled out of their offices, a way of showing we are in another power – the opposition. This is a wrong example that should be discouraged and MCAs should also honour the national unity principle and the constitution of the unitary government.
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About Peter Onyango

Dr. Peter Onyango O. is one of our main contributors. He is a senior law lecturer, a writer, a consultant, peace ambassador, and a researcher. He assists so many professionals, legal minds, and debaters with his skills and scholarly wealth! He supports children and village community as a way of giving back to community. He edits, proof reads, and publishes various articles for our page!

One comment

  1. The governor should only be answerable to the people and not to the MCAs. The question of making MCAs over powerful is not the right thing for Kenya.

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