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Only selfless leadership will uplift mwananchi

Sunday February 2 2014

President Kibaki and Attorney General Amos Wako after the promulgation of the new constitution on August 27, 2010. The institutions that were put in place by the new Constitution such as the county governments and corresponding assemblies will have to stabilise and work for the good of the people. PHOTO/FILE

President Kibaki and Attorney General Amos Wako after the promulgation of the new constitution on August 27, 2010. The institutions that were put in place by the new Constitution such as the county governments and corresponding assemblies will have to stabilise and work for the good of the people. PHOTO/FILE 

DOMINIC WAMUGUNDA
By DOMINIC WAMUGUNDA
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There was a time in Kenya when there was a famous saying: “Siasa mbaya, maisha mbaya (bad politics, bad life)”.

By bad politics the proponent of this theory, who was also the head of state, meant not voting for the Kanu regime.

The ruling party had become so unpopular that whole regions of this country opted to vote for other parties.

To show the cruelty of that regime, this automatically resulted in those regions being abandoned by government in terms of development.

It is perhaps this behaviour on the part of the rulers of the day that propelled the urgency to change the Constitution beginning in the days of multiparty politics and culminating in the promulgation of a new Constitution in 2010.

With this shift, now regions can control their own devolved resources under their governors and other leaders from among them.

If there are going to be arguments about which clan or ridge gets what or governors favouring some people, those will be arguments between related people.

Of course these last days one hears a lot about the things that are going on in the counties not to mention the arguments between them and the central government.

Many are even wondering if we did right to pass this Constitution.

Recently I met a man who was vehemently opposed to it at the referendum and he was delighted that seemingly they had been vindicated.

When I pointed out to him that we have come a long way by passing the Constitution, he still held his position.

I am convinced that we are a better Kenya because we made the decision we made at the referendum of 2010.

Having said so, we still have a long way to go.

The institutions that were put in place by the new Constitution such as the county governments and corresponding assemblies will have to stabilise and work for the good of the people.

The national assembly and the senate will have to learn to work in harmony according to the law.

Citizens will have to come up and demand more accountability from their governors and representatives.

More will have to be done to address issues regarding the social security of the mwananchi.

I have argued in this column before that by devolving we may be devolving corruption and bad practices to the counties.

We have seen what many of the governors are most interested in. Many big cars, big mansions and so on.

Devolution is good for Kenya as long the focus is not on the leaders themselves but on effective service delivery to citizens.

Father Wamugunda is Dean of Students at the University of Nairobi. [email protected]

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