NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 30 – “Devolution is actually one of the success stories in this Constitution, just because we have ended up with hyenas in this position does not mean devolution is a bad thing.”
These words of former member of the Committee of Experts on Constitution Review Ekuru Aukot on murmured conversations over the possibility of having governors appointed rather than elected.
The school of thought generating the idea says if Governors are appointed, they would be more accountable as opposed to what is being witnessed in most counties where they have turned out to be ‘demigods’.
According to Aukot, devolution can be successfully achieved only if Governors shove aside selfish interests and without fear of being politically incorrect, use the power to benefit the people as was intended in the Constitution.
According to the constitutional lawyer, appointing governors would be reviving Provincial Administration which at the moment is represented by county commissioners who he says are frustrating devolution.
“At the county level they are actually rocking the boat over devolution because they disrespect devolution…for me we should do away first of all with Provincial Administration because we can see what appointed leaders are doing; you can see what appointed leaders are doing even at the National level.”
Just because of a few bad governors, the concept of electing leaders should not be construed as bad. That Kenyans should be given the opportunity to elect leaders of their choice as it is their constitutional right.
Nyandarau Senator Muriuki Karue speaking on the same said the debate on whether Governors should be elected or appointed is one Kenyans needed to have even as the implementation of the Constitution was taking a political angle.
“We should now engage in a serious debate on whether the model we got into where we have an elected and Executive Governor who has to politic almost everything vis a vis an Executive who will concentrate on the main mandate or which people had in mind which is economic development?” he posed.
Karue said the people were yet to fully enjoy the fruits of the new Constitution which include devolution of healthcare, proper education, water among others.
According to Aukot the biggest challenges inhibiting the full implementation of the Constitution was that leaders had not read and understood the document and its intended spirit, thus making roadside declarations that are detrimental to the country’s progress.
Recent weeks have seen Kenyans treated to a supremacy war between the different levels of governance, with each level accusing the other for undermining it.
The solution is far from being found as devolution is a process which is expected to take time before coming to full realization.