Why devolution does not work in Kenya & how [I believe] it can be made to work
Yes, another non-question but important issue to point out 🙂
The issues: –
– some counties lack natural resources that are detrimental to life (e.g. water bodies) and are not protected by the constitution if, say, the counties that have these resources choose to ‘sell’ their naturally default resources to them (i.e. case in point is ongoing water debacle between Murang’a & Nairobi counties
– devolution in Kenya was not a consequence of developmental debate but political debate
– the devolved system in Kenya was a mediocre plan with dozens of loopholes rushed to implementation for political patronage
– we have bloated representation due to current devolved system which = billions of shillings lost to offset the bloated salaries
– corruption is rife meaning the loopholes mentioned above are exploited in extremis to the detriment of the citizen
– the President can choose whoever he wants to be a CS, parastatal head & ambassador which leaves room for patronage
My Proposal (Sketch)
1) Scrap the county system (do away with governors, senate, women’s rep, etc) – do away with bi-cameral house
2) Return to the Provincial Administrative system with 8 provinces, districts, divisions, etc (along with old constitutional boundaries). Difference being the PCs, DCs, Chiefs, etc will be voted in by the people not appointed and resources to serve these topographical boundaries would be ‘devolved’ for lack of a better word. Think of it as devolution without 47 counties and 1 million unnecessary positions in the name of salaries.
3) Reduce the MPs to less than 200 and scrap all nominated positions which are basically freebies for political rewards.
4) Legislate a bill that ensures each elective position has 50% inclusion of women on the ticket.
5) Do away with CS positions and return to 1 Minister 1 PS per Ministry – NO assistant ministers. Ministers and PS positions to be filled by non-politicians and advertised publicly for any Kenyan to apply just like all other civil servants. President should NOT appoint Ministers. Ambassadors would be treated as civil servants as well and again must be selected via application not appointment
6) 1 President 1 Vice President (no Prime Minister no Deputy President) – each to serve a maximum of 2 consecutive 5 year terms, same for MPs and the Provincial Administrative positions.
6) Scrap MCA position. Return to City Councils & Municipalities but without fewer councillors under a Mayor.
7) All natural resources (water, land, flora & fauna, etc.) belong to the government. In short, nationalise natural resources and factors of production (people can produce through and use these but not own them).
8) Bills pertaining to the economy of the country, and any matter directly affecting the basic needs of the citizen (health, education, housing, cost of living, etc.), should be jointly deliberated (& approved/disapproved) by the Legislature & Executive (cabinet chosen via process in 5 above) along with an independent task force consisting of professionals.
9) President CAN NOT appoint parastatal heads. Like the civil servants in (5), anyone can apply and be vetted by an independent politically neutral body
10) Have a referendum to effect this along with other critical issues i.e. foreign policy, etc.