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Politics
The rate at which governors are entertaining corruption will kill the country faster than we think
By Bwire Mugolla | Updated Oct 05, 2018 at 18:11 EAT
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A stop corruption sign
SUMMARY

The 47 kings of our respective kingdoms are competing among themselves to prove who can steal better, not less, from us

But there are positives when they posit their mistaken priorities on social media sites

 “I am pleased that my fight against corruption is yielding results in (my county). In the corruption (bribery) index, we are at a low number 44 out of 47. In other words, least corrupt county after Kericho, Bomet & Elgeyo Marakwet. How did your county fair? See attached EACC report.”

This is what a governor in Kenya of the 2018 posted on his twitter account following the release of findings of a survey by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission that sought to relay the state of graft in the country.

The governor is not perturbed that there is corruption in the country. He is not concerned that billions are being pilfered from a suffering nation whose majority citizens cannot afford two square meals per day and the money being used to entertain and kill ‘slay queens’.

Our not so-old county boss has no scruples that his subjects are among the poorest people in the world thanks to misplaced leadership priorities. No. The pioneer governor is happy and celebrating the fact that among the 47 counties looting public money, he holds Number 44.

We are doomed, fellow countrymen!

The 47 kings of our respective kingdoms are competing among themselves to prove who can steal better, not less, from us. They are not competing to make quality education accessible for our children. They do not care whether or not disease sweeps us off the surface of the earth. They won’t lose sleep if we starve in our entirety.

Where the national government and its head President Uhuru Kenyatta is growing hoarse preaching about the Big Four, the heads of our devolved governments have their sights trained elsewhere, a totally opposite direction. They are very short on vision, low on county unity and almost non-existent on economic competition. They are keener on stealing without being caught, showbiz and grandeur.

But there are positives when they posit their mistaken priorities on social media sites. At least here, the voters get the chance to understand what their highflying leaders consider important, give their responses and more importantly adjust their expectations accordingly. There is nothing as frustrating and dangerous as putting your hope in a person who does not care about you. And that is true for most of our county leaders.

Going by what the Number Four from behind celebration, with the various graft related cases he is facing, devolution does not seem to be working the way the drafters of the Constitution envisaged. If by devolving only 15 per cent of our national revenue to the counties our governors are so overwhelmed that they cannot help but loot, then one wonders what would happen if more resources were to be sent down there.

It is sad that the same report from which the governor was deriving so much pleasure was categorical in its verdict on how the devolved units were executing functions assigned from the national government.

The survey shows that county governments are performing dismally in almost all critical devolved functions. It shows that the governors can hardly put off a fire at a market place neither can they control drugs and pornography!

In other areas, the people are finding it harder to get clean drinking water than they did before the dawn of devolution. The 47 presidents, according to the survey, have made it more complex for their subjects to participate in their own governance while the scale of pollution is much higher now.

At this rate, Kenyans will be forgiven to think the whole business of devolution was taken up a bit too early in the national growth. Maybe, as playwright Francis Imbuga once observed, it was better while we waited.

The corrupt leaders at the county headquarters are eating too much too fast that we, the owners, can’t help but notice.

Mr Mugolla is a high school teacher.

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