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No, Baba, you’re wrong on three-tier government structure

In Summary

•They don’t want to go home or melt into the private sector. They still want to be around like a pimpernel scarlet polluting public space with their tested and proven mediocrity.

•I wonder what will happen in the next 10 years to come, will they also demand a referendum to create a fourth tire of devolution to save them from retirement!

ODM leader Raila Odinga during the BBI forum in Narok on Saturday, February 22.
BBI: ODM leader Raila Odinga during the BBI forum in Narok on Saturday, February 22.
Image: COURTESY

Former Prime Minister, Raila Odinga has come out passionately and proactively to agitate for a new Three-Tier system of government as a cure to the current ills of devolution.

Being a formidable political authority, with a fanatical following, his wishes or ideas should not be ignored, as many will buy them wholesome without subjecting the matter to the rigors of intellect and assess its viability, by throwing the tired cliché " Baba is always right".

In as much as there is a general consensus that devolution needs improvement; the unspoken truth is that devolution is a fragile egg slowly breaking in the hands of county governors. Therefore, suggesting that adding a prefecture tier on top of this collapsing house as a panacea,is either a misdiagnosis, more like a snake oil prescription to cancer! Or pure dishonesty; to the effect that behind the veil is a clamour by wannabe monarchs dressed as governors finishing their second term.

They don’t want to go home or melt into the private sector. They still want to be around like a pimpernel scarlet polluting public space with their tested and proven mediocrity. I wonder what will happen in the next 10 years to come, will they also demand a referendum to create a fourth tire of devolution to save them from retirement!

The four horsemen of Apocalypse sounding a death knell to devolution are political correctness, corruption, underfunding, and a justice system seriously unwilling to slay the monster of economic crimes.

Firstly, political correctness has made it easy for fake populists, and charismatic despots to be easily elected as many of these governors. Leaders in this depressing category, who constitute the majority of governors, are previously career scumbags with no history whatsoever of managing anything, not even a village cattle dip. Once in office, this group have no creativity or imagination; agency or urgency; vision or sense of purpose to perform.

They spend five years cheating the devolution experiment. Then ride on the wave of clan supremacy, or proximity to the party's top hierarchy or leadership to secure a second term to make the county regret again. It's a vicious cycle that starts with political parties being opaque, and functionally miseducating voters on the benefits of electing visionaries.

The ancient Igbo scholars opined: If you bring home ant-infested firewood, be ready to welcome the lizards of destruction. And rightly so, these messy lizards are collapsing the devolution experiment.

Secondly, corruption has become so prevalent in the counties, so much so that these counties are literally turning into crime scenes; into a den of unarmed robbers; into a hell of economic sins where straight people have no place or chance. To get a job, tender, or access to public goods, you must grease a hand.

The worst part is that whereas county executives are rotten dens of criminal overlords, they have taught county assemblies the wicked benefits of this forbidden fruit. The two are in bed, nobody to keep checks and balances, the only time County Assemblies made noise was when the executive could not meet their price or to raise their extortion bargain. These counties are literally functioning through political and economic corruption or simply call it organized chaos.

Thirdly, the issue of underfunding cannot be gainsaid. It is throwing handbrakes to economic miracles being performed by a handful of serious governors out there. Not to mention names, some of these governors have performed spectacularly well.

Fourthly, the slow-walking justice system that is either unwilling to punish malfeasance, public stealing, and impunity or simply engaged in political persecutions loosely beguiled as prosecution. Governors and their top consigliere have been paraded in court for stealing, but no single conviction has ever been attained. Points to poor work by the prosecution, and criminal capture of the Judiciary. The enemies of the nation have inhibited every element at the basic stages of justice. Arresting and taking them to court is the new stand-up in town.

So when the former PM, says that some of these counties are economically unviable, we should raise this conversation by asking the following questions:

How has Cuba survived over 50 years of crushing USA sanctions to develop one of the most comprehensive medical industry that exports doctors to over 100 countries of the world? That today, Cuba is also a Mecca of medical tourism and chief exporter of drugs is a story for another day!

How did Dubai, a sea of sand with no known natural resources transform into the shopping and leisure capital of the world?

The writer is a journalist and comments on topical issues