IS THE DEVOLVED SYSTEM OF GOVERNANCE A BLESSING OR A CURSE FOR THE RESIDENTS OF GARISSA COUNTY?
By Abdi Ismail Dalal
To begin with, allow me to indulge you, the reader, on the definition of and the principles that guide devolution before delving into the subject and make an expository glimpse into how the very basic principles that guides it has been seriously undermined by the powers that be.
WHAT IS DEVOLUTION?
Devolution is the transfer or delegation of power to a lower level, especially by central government to local or regional administration.
OBJECTIVES OF DEVOLUTION.
The objectives of the devolution of government are though not exhaustively–
(a) to promote democratic and accountable exercise of power;
(b) to foster national unity by recognising diversity;
(c) to give powers of self-governance to the people and enhance the participation of the people in the exercise of the powers of the State and in making decisions affecting them;
(d) to recognise the right of communities to manage their own affairs and to further their development;
(e) to protect and promote the interests and rights of minorities and marginalised communities;
(f) to promote social and economic development and the provision of proximate, easily accessible services throughout Kenya;
(g) to ensure equitable sharing of national and local resources throughout Kenya;
(h) to facilitate the decentralisation of State organs, their functions and servicestancom the capital of Kenya; and
(i) to enhance checks and balances and the separation of powers.
A critical dissection and analysis of the basic principles of devolution through an objective and unbiased lenses vis-a-vis the situation in Garissa county, one doesn’t need to scratch beyond the surface to see the glaring departure from the very foundations upon which the devolved system hinges upon.
Its crystal clear that the county is heading in the wrong direction and the clarity of this wrongness is a matter not of just policy decisions but more fundamentally of governor Korane’s personal biased and total disregard for the very essence of laws that govern the devolved system itself.
The denizens of Garissa county and specifically the elites have allowed themselves to be led lemming-like to the precipice of destruction by the said leader who shamelessly perpetrated all manner of inequities against the poor masses.
Moreover, how could one explain the enigma of the demagogue himself?
It seems inconceivable for a personality of governor Korane’s ilk who portrays a blank-eyed sense of loyalty to his immediate family members and avowed indolence to hold sway over such a great number of people without facing stiff challenges or even outright opposition to his authority especially from the elites together with members of the so-called minority clans living in Garissa owing to the fact that governor Korane’s government’s exploits stands diametrically opposed to the ideals of inclusivity as stated in the principles of the devolved system of governance.
The denizens of Garissa county have to learn to read the disheveled ravings and verbal acrobatics of this insensate politician as regards his flagrant violation of the international labour laws.
Its totally beyond the pale for the governor to embark on a mass recruitment of county staff of questionable academic backgrounds without the involvement of public service board? – In this vein, I would like to expose the fact that the members of the public service board have been cherry-picked by governor Korane just some few days ago and in a disproportionate and selective and an irregular manner given the fact that the appointees are his fervent supporters which is in itself is a gross malpractice.
Furthermore, how can one explain the massive recruitment of people above the mandatory retirement age while qualified, robust and proactive youth have been left out in the cold without any hope of securing a place to alter the gravity of their endeavours any time in the near future?
The tropes of betrayal, disguise, simulation, clandestinity, secrecy, the bluff, the double bluff, bafflement and shifting identity – this is the stock in trade of governor Korane’s administration.
The disease spread by the administration of governor Ali Bunow Korane is often trotted out to explain the spectacular downturn in fortunes of the inhabitants of Garissa county, delivering job opportunities and profits making ventures to a scanty few ( mostly his immediate family members and some of his rabid sycophants).
In view of this interminable parade of infirmity and incapacity, little do we wonder that the establishment has achieved nothing at all hence the need to ask whether the devolved system of governance is a blessing or a curse for the inhabitants of Garissa county.
What’s your verdict my dear readers?
Dalal is a former public relations officer, a writer and an activist.