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Monday, May 3, 2010

Devolution by evolution, don't make me scream revolution!

So, I promised to talk about devolution.

I am told that it is the best deal that Kenyans will ever get. They insist, ‘ever’.
There are 47 counties, essentially the Moi-Kenyatta era districts. Now, Mumias ends up in Kakamega county, together with eight other constituencies.

And as 15 per cent of national revenue is divided among the counties, unless it is done ‘equitably” and not “equally”, as we say in Mumias, ‘tumeumia’ (we are cooked!).

Anyway, yesterday, I had a chat with Prof Kavetsa Adagala, an ex-commissioner of the 2005 team that prepared the Constitution. She told me that the proposed law was a hundred per cent okay. And that ‘we can live with it’ and that, we should be prepared ‘to live with it’.
I told her that I looked at the chapter on how to make amendments, and that one way or another it will have to end with a referendum.

She looked at me straight in the eye. “It has to be very difficult to amend the Constitution. It should not be easy like the way the Moi’s and Kenyatta’s did to the independence Constitution.”
Ha! Okay. “So, if we have to stay with the nine constituencies in Kakamega County, we have to live with that?”

“Yes”, she said. If you don’t have money for referendum and are unable to convince counties to support your amendment by popular initiative, then too bad!
Ouch!
So, as people say, if the Constitution unites us, as a country, and the money flowing to the grassroots is proportional to the size of the county, who cares? That’s the spirit of the law, what about the letter of the law?

PS: Can someone tell the members of the Committee of Experts to keep quiet and wait for civic education. In fact, I dare say, I don’t expect them to be impartial, given that they ‘own’ the document. They’ll just have to push for the ‘YES” vote. Hehehe…and we are talking about impartial, truthful, civic education.

PS2: What was that debate about someone vying for presidency then Parliament and resigning as MP if he/she gets the Presidency? That was Lands Minister James Orengo and CoE member Njoki Ndung’u. These lawyers!!!

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