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February 18, 2019

County dictatorships will cost us more than one-party rule

Chairman of Council of Governors Josphat Nanok and some of the Governors who ateended the press briefing at the COG Offices on Thursday 31st August, 2017./victor imboto
Chairman of Council of Governors Josphat Nanok and some of the Governors who ateended the press briefing at the COG Offices on Thursday 31st August, 2017./victor imboto
Some of us know the one thing that made things so bad in Kenya was lack of democracy, which one-party dictators killed by living above the law.

They could not be arrested, investigated or prosecuted whenever they stole or broke the law.

Because of this dictatorship, which came as immunity from prosecution — which governors are now demanding — we had to fight for democracy. And now that governors are pushing for this immunity, Kenyans must brace themselves for another period of dictatorship — not against presidential dictatorship but against 47 gubernatorial dictators. They want this immunity because they intend to perpetrate graft without being bothered.

Tragically, if governors are not prosecuted while in office, we can expect unprecedented proliferation of corruption in all counties as in the national government. This is why this immunity must not be given.

In self-defence, governors claim, being heads of governments, like the president, they too should enjoy this immunity. They also argue that governors elsewhere enjoy this immunity. But in America, nobody, including the President, is above the law. In Nigeria, governors are prosecuted for corruption after they leave office. Granting immunity, therefore, seems to encourage graft. If Kenyans want to end corruption, they must oppose this clamour by their governors.

When we fought for democracy and independence, our fight was against dictators – White or Black — their immunity and non-prosecution for corruption or any other crime. Who would think years later would demand unfettered freedom to perpetrate graft and other economic crimes? 

If we fought against dictatorship, we must also these governors and their corruption.

Africa is already struggling with presidents who seek immunity from prosecution for crimes committed while in office, and from that experience, we cannot allow to suffer the same under county bosses.

If governors were committed to the fight against graft, they would not be seeking immunity while in office. Instead, they would be rallying one another against anyone seeking freedom to steal public or state resources.

And for these governors to protect themselves, they will need dictatorship for them to perpetrate graft.  So, when they ask for immunity, they are also asking for dictatorship.  

We all know how much harm one-man dictatorship wrecked Africa. So, if one-man dictatorship was so destructive, how much damage would 47 dictators in 47 counties do?  They would make devolution the worst thing that happened in Kenya. This is why any attempts to install immunity and dictatorship must be resisted.

On matters corruption, Kenya is divided between the ordinary people and the governors.

Governors want to be left alone if they commit corruption, while the people, on the other hand, want perpetrators of graft and economic crimes punished — now, regardless of who they are.  

On governors’ immunity, Kenyans must decide because if have their way, they will exercise the power of Kings. And if people have their way, corruption of Kings will be punished now not later. 

There are however people who don’t believe graft is Kenya’s worst enemy. As Deputy President said, corruption is not our worst problem, which is bad leadership. But bad leadership must breed corruption and the two must be fought against simultaneously.  

To conclude, however, good they are, governors must never be given immunity against prosecution for corruption. Should Kenyans make this mistake, they will have worse dictatorship and graft than they have ever had before.



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