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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The 'noise' over Provincial Administration

“Look at the Constitution. Read it. And then look at the people asking you to vote for it. Then ask yourself: What’s the worst that it can come to (in its implementation)? If you trust the letter and the spirit, vote ‘Yes’, if you trust the spirit but not the letter, vote ‘No’ ” –Talkshow Guest, (was it Charles Kanjama or Chris Foot, one of the two).

The controversy over the provincial administration has the media and politicians talking at each other. The debate is unwarranted. IMHO, it is just politics. The Constitution is very clear at the Sixth Schedule (17): “Within five years after the effective date, the national government shall restructure the system of administration commonly known as the provincial administration to accord with and respect the system of devolved government established under this Constitution.”

I find it stupid for some MPs and journalists too, to argue that this role does not lie with the folks at Harambee House. Seriously, I think it does. Or what do you understand by “national government?” Harambee House, in case you forgot, is the Office of the President, who, as we say, he is the Head of Government. So once again, President Kibaki and his mandarins knew what they meant when they said the Provincial Administration will be “restructured”. And I think the Committee of Experts gave the mandate to these fellows at OP, deliberately.

You remember the PS at OP, Francis Kimemia, saying recently that “tumefunga kutengeneza districts hadi tujenge hizi tumetengeneza kwanza, ingawa watu walikuwa wanataka tuendelee” (We’re not coming up with other districts until we build the ones we’ve set up, 284 in total).

Such a statement came just early this month, just days after the new Constitution was promulgated.

So this issue about “devolution” and “two parallel systems” and that the existence of the provincial administration will be “undermining the county governments”, to me, it seems like flummery. For real. It is just politics.

The guys out calling news conferences saying the chiefs, DCs, PCs, DOs “should just go home” have seriously not understood the letter, even as they are right about the spirit.

I doubt that the devolution will work the way it is structured--47 counties and the national government. There’s a huge gap, (regions must have been somewhere, only that someone said they were expensive, so some said abolish counties and have the regions, and people said, we need to have a say in our affairs at a local level).

For now, the powers are still tilted towards the centre, only the money will be going to the grassroots. Hopefully that will be in 2012. Or what do you guys think?

PS: Now, if this is the kind of controversy over chiefs, DCs, Dos and PCs. What’ll happen when it comes to the date of elections? I see fireworks.

NB: I am on leave and didn’t think I’d blog, but then again, the fingers were itching.

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