Idea of regional governments is an enemy of devolution

Will further isolate marginalised communities by creating another level of government above devolved units

In Summary

• Some areas have never felt the presence of the national government as they have with devolution. 

• Leaders should embrace fact that political careers are also meant to end and find something to do after retirement. 

Building bridges.
CLOSER TO GRASSROOTS: Building bridges.
Image: OZONE

One of the most ridiculous propositions in the BBI report, as heard during the public-cum-political rallies, is the creation of the third tier of government, conveniently being referred to as regional governments.

This is, in addition, to talk of extending the presidential term through the invention and insertion of an executive Prime Minister post. That shall be a discussion for another day, today, let us focus on the regional governments.

The idea of regional governments is basically a creation of selfish politicians who have no idea of what to do with their lives after serving for two terms in public office. This egocentric ideology seems to negate the gains of the Constitution of Kenya, 2010 and specifically the objects of devolution.

One of the objects that will be affected is that of protecting and promoting the interests and rights of the minorities and marginalised communities. Creating another level of governance above the already existing devolved governments would essentially create a larger area of governance and that would definitely have a majority of communities, thereby denying the minorities and marginalised communities an opportunity to run their local affairs.

Devolved governments are a replica of the national government in some ways; they have legislative power as well as executive powers. They are closer to the people. Some areas have never felt the presence of the national government as they have with devolution. 

Why would some people want to take that closeness from Kenyan citizens? Will these regional governments also have regional county assemblies? Won’t they duplicate the roles played by the existing legislature? And at whose expense?