By Stanley Githunguri
It was President Ronald Reagan who said, “an irresponsible Government is like a baby, an alimentary canal with a big appetite at one end and no sense of responsibility at the other”.
Like many other Kenyans who care about this country, I have been deeply concerned with the recent appointments of county commissioners. It is not that I do not support devolution of State authority.
But it is because I am a strong believer of the rule of law and the concept of putting the cart after the horse.
The structures upon which the new appointments were to be set are yet to be set up.
County headquarters have yet to be set up, from where will these commissioners be expected to do their jobs? The law that was supposed to create their offices is still under consideration by Parliament!
We are reminded that the President refused to assent to it and returned it to Parliament. What if Parliament creates different structures in the new law? We know that the Government may have been looking for a soft landing for the Provincial Administration — but this one may turn out to be an extremely hard landing for them.
Barely 21 months ago, Kenyans celebrated the birth of a new order of running the affairs of the State. Today, it is clear that not everybody was happy, at least not everyone who sat on that podium at Uhuru Park! What we celebrated was not the papers that were held high on that day. It was not the raising of the national flag, or the attendance by the many foreign and local dignitaries. We celebrated the end of impunity and rebirth of a renewed hope in transparency and upholding the rule of law.
The new appointments are not only a flagrant disregard of the Constitution, but also an abuse of State authority. Who vetted these people — we are not indicating that they are imperfect in any way. But equally, we are also not sure of their imperfections! We have tried to clean all other sectors of the State organs.
Kenyans have expressed hope in the State when their public officers are vetted in public glare and their appointments subjected to rigorous check. This is a great step towards realising the new dawn.
But surely, what sense does it make to brush your teeth with the best toothpaste and rinse you mouth in industrial waste! It is a zero sum game! If one part of the State organs will be perfect, but the other flawed, then the whole lot becomes defective!
I feel for our youth and women who continue be ignored in every other appointment. In the case of the county commissioners, the youth is conspicuously left out. Maybe one can argue that they needed some experienced lot, but what lie do we tell to our women? That they did not qualify?