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Picking governors, MPs, MCAs crucial than even president

By Mike Nyagwoka | May 7th 2022 | 2 min read

If it were true that when the man or woman in State House is from your community, things get rosy, then there are two communities in Kenya whose areas would be little heavens and their lives a taste of paradise.

Obviously, that is not the case. They are even crying louder than the rest of over 40 communities that can only dream of the presidency.

It would have made some little sense to argue in that direction before 2010, but now the Constitution has created some mini ‘presidencies’ where Kenyans should focus more when electing their next leaderS who in most cases are from the dominant communities. The cumulative budget that has been sent to counties since devolution in 2013 is now in trillions. If these monies have not touched a facet of your life, then forget about castigating the president and look for your governor.

One of the main reasons why Kenyans wanted counties was for the simple reason that if the presidency would be rotational, it would take approximately 200 years for every community to have a taste of it. On paper, counties were supposed to cure marginalisation. The more unfortunate bit is that the first thing you hear when some of these governors get into office is the number of hotels and posh residences they have built.

Even though some of them are impeached on allegations of corruption and impropriety, everything ends at that impeachment. None is in Kamiti or Shimo la Tewa over corruption. Instead, they are on the ballot seeking another mandate to devour raid coffers. The other crop of leaders that now control big budgets is the MPs through NGDF and NGAF. If all these funds are applied appropriately and tenders apportioned to local organisations, no one would care about who is the president and from which community.

As per the law, even on the national budget, the Government cannot progress without parliamentary approvals. This gives the members of parliament immense powers that if they used without political leanings. The same applies to senators when approving appropriations and the MCAs when apportioning the budgets in the counties. No matter how good a president you elect, these other leaders can still make life miserable on the ground as they enjoy vacations in Dubai in the name of workshops.

The onus on the presidency is to fix government institutions aimed at protecting the taxpayer from wolfs in sheepskin. That ideally means the strengthening of institutions such as the office of the Auditor-General and the EACC while giving room and space to the Judiciary to operate. That way, all leaders shall be accountable to the constitution and not their tribes.

The writer is an anchor at Radio Maisha

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