Rising political heat is why we must support devolution

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The Reverend Timothy Njoya, one of the architects of the Saba Saba movement, has recently coined a very articulate metaphor to describe the political situation that we are witnessing today.

“The lion and the leopard are not as clever as the hyena. When a lion kills a zebra, a pack of hyenas will come to the scene of the kill; they will tease and pester the lion to chase one of the hyenas and in doing so leaving the killed zebra unattended. The hyena may not be as strong as the lion or leopard, but it is much cleverer.”

The essence of Rev. Njoya’s argument was that the national government’s focus on Cord rallies and opposition politics is distracting them from carrying out other duties. Indeed the Cord hyena has been very clever to distract the Jubilee lion from its duties as proprietor of the national government (the zebra). From the return of Cord principal, Raila Odinga, through to the Saba Saba rally in 2014, there has been an unrelenting rise of Opposition clamour for change, and it does not seem likely to abate any time soon. Cord has revitalised itself through the 13-point resolution announced during Saba Saba two years ago, and is extremely motivated to remain relevant in the lead up to the 2017 General Election. Given this scenario, the Jubilee government has almost become permanently entrapped in this web of distraction and abandoned its other (core) duties.

Not with standing the controversy that has enveloped his Maendeleo Chap Chap initiative – which culminated in the formation of the Maendeleo Chap Chap Movement – regarding quality and transparency of projects, Governor Alfred Mutua has been able to use accelerated development to generate a buzz around Machakos County’s apparent immunity to political clamour and sideshows. The county is becoming a symbol of hope to those Kenyans tired of political bickering, and who yearn for progress. Indeed, there has been unending debate around the authenticity of the projects initiated by Governor Mutua and, of course, whether or not these advancements are transparent and if they represent a genuine effort by the Machakos County Government.

However, what this situation has brought to the fore are the possibilities present in the new devolved system; governors and senators, if they choose not to be distracted, have the ability to serve the counties they represent without any substantial interference by their parties or from the National Government. I say “if they choose” because more often than not, our politicians act on a fallacy of divine right which, as demonstrated by the scale of the political clamour, is becoming increasingly stronger. It is therefore imperative that we play our roles, as citizens of our great nation, to support devolution and demand an end to political bickering in our respective counties which is doing nothing but distracting us from truly addressing the very issues that, ironically, initiated the political clamour.

– Sahil Seth Shah, Thika, County

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