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MAKING DEVOLUTION WORK

Inclusivity lie by political elite club

Real inclusivity means universal access to clean piped water, healthcare, good roads, quality education and training, food, security

In Summary

• The inclusivity Kenyans need is that which shall adopt the ward as the primary unit of accelerated development

• Inclusivity is not bringing tribes or regional representatives into the national Executive. 

Handshake
Handshake
Image: THE STAR

Kenya’s political elite club has been cunningly propagating an inclusivity lie that is designed to expand the national Executive to accommodate a few individuals into the government at the expense of the majority.

They have openly endorsed it in funerals, weddings, churches and press conferences. It has been baptised as a Building Bridges Initiative, a bridge that will make it easy for the chosen few to cross to the land of honey and milk, they call it Canaan.

Well, going by the recent political developments in the country in what they call the handshake, there has been calmness since we no longer have ‘Maandamano’ and Teargas Thursdays that actually disrupted and tore into our economy. What we now urgently need is a true inclusivity formula that will ensure all Kenyans receive services fairly and equitably as a right, not as a favour.

 

The inclusivity Kenyans need is that which shall adopt the lowest unit of our devolved system, the ward, as the primary unit of accelerated development hence taking development to the people’s doorsteps.

This will definitely spur economic growth in all parts of Kenya and shall be in tandem with the true spirit and letter of Article 6 (3) of the Constitution whose intent is to reach each and every Kenyan. The ward is the surest way of doing that. 

Inclusivity is not bringing tribes or regional representatives into the national Executive. It is using the bottom-up approach to evenly develop Kenya by taking services closer to mwananchi so that we can attain real and meaningful inclusion, where substantial development funds are allocated beyond the counties down to the wards. This way, each Kenyan will have equitable and faster access to national resources in the form of public services.

True and meaningful inclusivity can only be realised when all citizens get their share of the national cake, not when a few are literally eating for and on behalf of their region, community, clan and or any other section of society.

It, therefore, may not matter where one resides within the republic or which tribe clinches the presidency since all Kenyans would then access services equitably whether in urban, semi-urban, rural or semi-rural areas.

In a nutshell, real inclusivity means universal access to clean piped water, healthcare, good roads, quality education and training, food, security etc. whose absence has been occasioned by the post-Independence poor leadership that has come with mismanagement and looting of public resources.

These are the heavy burdens that Kenyans are struggling with on a daily basis. It is part of the ‘Mizigo’ that should be reduced. To lower this burden effectively, we must strengthen our devolved system by increasing the county revenue share allocations from the current constitutional 15 per cent of the national collection to at least 35 per cent and adopt each of the 1,450 wards as the primary unit of accelerated development.

 

This way, we will enhance service delivery and protect the public resources by enforcing integrity to end the theft of money.

Thirdway Alliance Kenya has documented these solutions in the Punguza Mizigo (Constitution Amendment) Bill, 2019, proposals that were endorsed by over 1.4 million voters through the popular initiative as provided for in Article 257 of the Constitution.

It is my belief and that of many Kenyans that the Punguza Mizigo (Constitution Amendment) Bill, 2019 will definitely make Kenya attain the real and meaningful inclusivity when finally passed in the county assemblies and subjected to a successful referendum through the people’s vote

Fredrick Okango is the secretary general of Thirdway Alliance Kenya

@fokango, [email protected]