Just when you think the bar for our governors’ madness, vanity, and utter annoyance can’t get lower, some governor drops it even lower. He “sponsors” illegal mocks, against the regulations of the Ministry of Education, and does one better. He puts his portrait on the exam papers!
After the 109K “carcinogenic” wheelbarrows, bench-marking trips to Congo, (Yes, Congo!), millions spent on gates, curtains, opening Facebook accounts, tea & mandazi, hundreds of millions spent on palatial residences and noisy motorcades with illegal sirens, you would think that the “excellencies”, their assemblies and their executives in the counties are done.
No they are not.
They believe they can disregard rules and regulations they do not like at will, and everyone must bow to their whims, including our children in schools! As an educationist, I think that this act by the Siaya governor is the lowest it can get for the simple reason that the governor thinks that our children are fair game when it comes to his playing politics There are many reasons why children do not vote. One of them is because they are at an age where they need to be protected from politics and politicians. There are also reasons why education is not a devolved function. Thank heavens!
Some governor ready to drag school children into politics for no other reason than the pampering of his own twisted ego is a shameless man. I dare say a dangerous man. Anyone who is debased enough to imagine that the next frontier of his sick politics is our school children cannot be anything else. Politicians have desecrated all available spaces, churches, funerals, businesses, “councils of elders”, homes, everything. Is our children their next frontier?
County governments have hijacked devolution and frustrated its intent. By now going down to our children they are not just keen to rob from us today. They are more than willing to ruin our tomorrow by desecrating the last space that our children can make a last stand against poverty and demagoguery – our schools. And when you read what is going on in the Counties, the debacle in Siaya is just a tip of the iceberg. Someone or something needs to save us from the madness going on in the counties. This is the curse of a well meaning system that has now created 47 megalomaniacs who believe they are demi-gods and are not answerable to anybody. We not only devolved funds and power to the Counties, we also devolved corruption, cronyism, bad governance and a healthy dose of grandstanding and megalomania.
The people know that devolution is the best thing that happened to the Country in the new constitution. Unfortunately, Governors, confuse devolution with themselves and imagine that they are the best thing that happened in their Counties since sliced bread.
It makes me wonder what kind of a sick mind would be comfortable with this kind of self-aggrandizement, running roughshod over very poor folks who can hardly afford two meals a day using the money stolen from them.
For the avoidance of doubt, devolution is not governors or the county governments. Those were simply structures that were put up to implement devolution. Devolution can be achieved using a million other options. So MCAs, governors and CECs should not confuse themselves with devolution. We can get rid of all those offices and still design a viable form of devolution that will deliver to the people of Kenya. So anyone’s dissatisfaction with the County governments should not be seen as being against devolution. Significantly, no one is a defender of devolution. It is law. It does not need defending because no one apart from the good people of Kenya can change it. It needs not be defended, it needs to be implemented. When criticized, I have heard the governor’s claim that they are the defenders of devolution. They are not. They are its mutilators, its tormentors and the single most important reason why the people have not reaped the full benefits of devolution. They are the problem and they must be stopped!
It does seem to me that the “nyumba ya wazee” called Senate, cannot or will not protect the people, The central government in Nairobi seems totally helpless to do anything, with itself suffering the same, having admitted to being held hostage by corrupt cartels. The office of the auditor general has been deliberately emasculated and he has been begging for powers and money from a government that does not want a strong auditor general’s office. The EACC is itself suffering an identity crisis as it was revealed that its disgraced Chairman was a tenderpreneur with the Jubilee government. To demonstrate the untouchability of the governors, CS Matiangí moved to quickly suspend concerned education officials in the County. And nothing happened to “His Royal Highness” the Governor.
We would have to think of a different model for implementing devolution and protecting the people. Like I have said, County Assemblies and Governors are not the defenders of devolution. That job falls to the constitution and to the good people of Kenya
South Africa has something called the office of the public protector. I suggest that we need one here. It has become clear that the public needs protection from these megalomaniacs. The authors of the constitution, more than eager to emasculate the presidency, could not have imagined the monsters they had created in the Counties. They imagined that the governors could be checked by the MCAs. The MCAs themselves have turned out to be mongrels threatening to eat up the governors if not well fed.
In 2013, many had not appreciated what the office of the governor entailed and some seasoned politicians even chose to go for senate, mistakenly imagining that is where the power would be. Many have now seen the “meat”. It is in the governors position. They want it. Not because they want to serve the people but because they want to loot from the people. The incumbents are panicking and I suspect that the insane acts like those seen in Siaya will become commonplace between now and the next general election. We the people need protection. Not just from the Rasangas of this world, but from those who, having seen the loot available in the Counties, are now running and will become governors next year. Lessons learnt in the first ever term of governors is that MCAs cannot check them, Senate cannot check them and they expect not to be checked. We need an office of the public protector. Urgently.