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The Senate during a past session. /CFM-FILE.

Fifth Estate

Compensational politics creates conflicts

By Dr. David Matsanga in London, United Kingdom

I am writing this piece in order to tell the World that what kills most countries are two components. Compensational politics and Structural challenges.I have always said that Kenya faces structural challenges that could bring structural conflicts.

The current debate on revenue allocation has both connotations. Compensational politics and structural challenges. There are those who found themselves where they are today not because the majority wanted or whether the minority did not have a say. For example, if I was asked where to be born I would have told my parents to give birth in Kenya, Britain, or Zimbabwe.

It is a fact and any scholar of Governance will attest to the fact that DEVOLUTION is a twin to EVOLUTION. If you move one of them faster than the other, you get what we see today in Kenya. Devolution was the best thing to come to Kenya but if not well planned through Evolution, it could cause challenges. For example, there are still counties without a formula for paying doctors and their nurses. This is a huge challenge.

I want to state here that democracy is governed by a basic rule of Universal Suffrage, ONE MAN ONE VOTE which every citizen of the world yearns for in a democracy . Why do we agree on this and we disagree on sharing the good? The reason people go out to vote Governments in power and out of power is to get quality. There is no other formula that is used since the Pluto Republic. 

So after the acrimonious debate in the Senate on Tuesday, the Division of Revenue Bill took another twist when the house voted in favor of adjournment.

The adjournment motion brought by former Senate Majority Leader Kipchumba Murkomen sought to give the house and by extension the country another chance to discuss and possibly arrive at a revenue-sharing formula acceptable to all.

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However, there are those who felt that the motion of adjournment was another egoistic populist shenanigan meant to avoid the harsh reality of the economic diversity of the country. They felt that the Senate should have the courage to bite the bullet regardless of the political consequences. Based on principles of universal suffrage there is no other way one can run to. No. Just face the reality.

The protraction on the revenue allocation is between two concepts. One is based on population and christened one man, one vote, one shilling. This school of thought argues that allocation should be based on demographic distribution and that the whole concept of development is about empowering people based numbers. I leave that to my readers but give hints.

The other school of thought has a mantra of one man, one kilometer, one shilling. They argue that one man one shilling glosses over other factors such as historical injustices and harsh geographical circumstances. This argument is countered by the fact that there’s equalization fund to cater for such special circumstances. This brings in Compensational politics which creates conflicts.

The debate has now taken a tribal angle and ethnic chauvinism that is utilizing the same to confuse and divide the country for selfish political gains. The truth is that there is always a majority population whether you go to Angel Gabriel and ask, the answer remains the world has those divisions of the majority population and minority population. 

In the United Kingdom we have quangos like WALES, NORTHERN IRELAND, SCOTLAND and democracy in this great nation has been there for more than 1600 years. The UK still struggles with COMPENSATIONAL POLITICS that talks about marginalized or money to the quangos.

What brings conflicts are sentiments of Compensational politics and Kenya is being dragged into the corner of this type of politics of reparations which could damage the peace before the next General Election. There is no way you will equalize this world or kill the doctrine of the majority. It is the core unit of democracy since Socrates.

Democracy demands that majority have their way while the minority gets their say. If the minority are not happy, they look for a formula that can equalize and solve the problem. You will never kill majority doctrine in Africa. That’s what happened in the Senate on Tuesday. It was one man one vote in the Senate but the same Senate dies not to want to share money on that basis.

One would, therefore, hope that sobriety reigns supreme as Senate embarks on the next level of discussion and consultation regarding resource allocation. The consultations should not be fixed on the politics of Compensation which creates conflicts.

Both doctrines of one man one vote and minority have their say must be used in both voting and resource distribution.There is no half vote or one and a half votes. One vote must also be equivalent to one bread, not half bread and therefore, those who are few in the house must eat the available loaves not less or more than the number in the house.

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The country expects Senators to come up with a solution that recognizes the equality of the vote of those who favour one man one vote while recognizing equity of those who vote but are few in numbers and in terms of resources and opportunities. The opportunities and needs of the majority and the minority are not the same.

These are realities of life. There is nowhere in the Bible that states that while on earth we are equal. No, it is only before God that we are equal. Remember it is God himself who created class struggles. There are those who are rich and those who are poor worldwide.

There is no balanced community in the world but there is an equalized community between majority and minority. There is no fully balanced society anywhere in the world. That is why there is winter and summer in the seasons.

The truth remains that Kenya should avoid Compensational politics that could plunge the country into structural conflicts. It is an emotive issue that requires careful navigation and sober leadership to avoid unnecessary conflicts.

God bless Kenya

The writer is Political scientist & International Relations with Conflict Resolution Expert bias, an Investigative Journalist and a Pan African based in Surrey London the United Kingdom.

 Twitter @Dr.David Matsanga

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