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MAJIMBO IS DEADLY

Majimbo will divide Kenyans, says Kituyi

Published on October 20, 2007, 12:00 am

By Robert Wanyonyi and Peter Atsiaya

Proponents of a majimbo (federal) system want to introduce divisions through the back door, Cabinet minister, Dr Mukhisa Kituyi, has said.

A majimbo system would divide the country along tribal lines, he said.

Addressing rallies at Kamukuywa, Chesamisi and Tongaren centres in his Kimilili constituency on Friday, the New Ford-Kenya leader said his party was focused on uniting Kenyans.

The minister said the majimbo debate propagated by ODM had exposed their plans and those of their foreign backers.

Not all foreign countries wanted a peaceful Kenya, which was the reason some were prodding the Opposition to introduce majimbo, he claimed.

The Trade and Industry minister said majimbo would cause civil strife.

“What they want is a system of fragmentation and it will be wise if Kenyans see that early enough and refuse to give them a chance,” he said.

Separately, Housing minister, Mr Soita Shitanda, echoed Kituyi’s sentiments, saying majimbo would threaten peace and stability.

Shitanda said Kenya was not ready for a federal government.

The Malava MP said ODM was using majimbo as a campaign bait to gain support in Coast Province.

“Raila is targeting Coast votes by advocating for majimbo because the residents have been calling for the same,” he said.

Shitanda warned that if implemented, a majimbo system would boomerang, as it would cause tribal animosity.

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About SG

Secretary general of Chama Cha Mwananchi. This blog www.chamachamwananchi.wordpress.com, is based in Sweden.

Discussion

2 thoughts on “MAJIMBO IS DEADLY

  1. Every body is entitled to his own opinion and so is Dr. Mukhisa Kituyi. However, I would like to differ with him and those opposed to majimbo.
    The challenge facing us at the momment is how to differentiate between the PNU and ODM forms of majimbo. The two seem to present totally different ideas to the electorate.
    The ODM team is propagating for a system that will devolve power and somehow equally and equitably distribute the national resources through regions as it may be prescribed in the constitution which they hope to ‘give’ Kenyans. This, in my opinion does not threaten the security of communities living amongst other communities. In fact, most people will not even realize much change save for the fact that they will be involved governing and owning their country and easily access the resources.
    On the other hand, PNU has a form of majimbo in which every community will be forced to stay in ‘their’ land and those already intergrated in other other communities be forced to move. A system where every resource produced by a community remains with that community. It’s on this basis that the likes of Kituyi and the PNU are opposing the proponents of majimbo. In my opinion, the form of majimbo opposed by PNU is an idea they have created for political reasons and therefore they should tell us where they got it from.
    CONSIDER HON. RUTO’S ARTICLE.
    By William Ruto

    Desperate times call for desperate measures.

    The debate on majimbo — a decentralised form of government as defined in the Bomas Draft — is slowly becoming captive to cheap political gerrymandering.

    It was always expected that the proponents of status quo would regroup and fight any attempt to alter a system in which they have been the sole exclusive beneficiaries.

    Today, they have been joined by the reformers of yesteryears who, having been inducted into the infamy of absolute power in a centralised government and tokenism, are only too willing to propagate it. The result is a shameless charade of deliberate distortions in which devolution is equated to balkanisation and ethnic cleansing. The people of Kenya are being taken for a ride.

    The poverty levels in this country has steadily worsened over the years, rising from 29 per cent at independence in 1963 to about 50 per cent today. Our society is also characterised by gross demographic disparities in the spread of wealth, income and opportunities.

    This sharp profile of inequality is distinctly defined along regional, age and gender lines. There exist wide regional disparities in poverty incidences, ranging from 31 per cent in Central Province to 43 per cent in Nairobi, 47 per cent in Rift Valley, 57 per cent in Coast, 58 per cent in Eastern, 60 per cent in Western, 64 per cent in North Eastern, and 64 per cent in Nyanza. Kenya is today ranked as the third most unequal country in the world.

    In a desperate attempt to deal with the chronic national inequity in the sharing of resources, Parliament through a private member’s motion — which incidentally was opposed by both the Moi and the Kibaki regime — promulgated the Constituency Development Fund (CDF).

    It should be noted that though the Kibaki Government has been falsely claiming credit for the introduction of CDF, it is only when Parliament threatened not to pass the Budget that the Government gave in and allowed passage of the CDF Bill. Further, the original figure was five per cent of National Revenue but it was reduced to 2.5 per cent as a compromise to get government to yield to its passage. Indeed, attempts to increase availability to this fund to ten per cent have been consistently resisted by Government.

    With all its shortcomings, CDF remains the only semblance of devolving government funds to the grassroots. With it, the constituents have been able to finance building of classrooms, health facilities, water projects, electricity projects, roads, bridges, cattle dips, afforestation programmes, among many development initiatives.

    If the current 2.5 per cent CDF kitty can undertake that kind of development, you can imagine the kind of transformation this country will achieve in a proper devolution framework as espoused in the Bomas Draft.

    It was in an attempt to address this skewed development that the Bomas Draft recognised and dedicated Chapter 14 thereof to the fundamental issues of a devolved system of government and sharing of power and resources.

    The Bomas Draft more than any person, therefore, personifies the distilled public sentiment on devolution. It represents the collective position by the people on how they should be governed. Even the Wako Draft that President Kibaki campaigned so hard for had this chapter intact.

    A devolved government is essential in the following ways: It entails a deliberate affirmative action that equitably distributes resources to address past unjust allocation; will expand opportunity to create wealth by mainstreaming the rural population’s participation in economic activity; empowerment of the majority both in decision making and the participation of more Kenyans in the baking of the proverbial national cake; increased decision making at the grassroots as a progressive means of enhancing democracy and responsive leadership; creates the opportunity for use of broad talent, expertise and effort; opens up the government system and encourages accountability through direct public audit; enables development initiatives to be anchored on locally developed priorities; and in the long run reduces the influence of elite that have a tendency of excluding the rest of Kenyans in decision making.

    We can only deal with chronic inequality in Kenya by embracing a legal framework on devolution as set out in the Bomas Draft that will take resources to all Kenyans. We must ensure that Kenyans across regions, gender and age divides have increased opportunity for enterprise, business and employment as a means of not only creating but also spreading wealth.

    This is only possible through devolution.

    Devolution, therefore, expands opportunity to mainstream and harness the ideas, talent, expertise and effort of the majority of Kenyans which is necessary if we have to realise economic growth that is sufficient to create wealth and employment opportunities so as to stem rising inequality and poverty.

    It enhances decision making at the grassroots as a progressive means of enhancing democracy, nurturing responsive leadership, anchoring development on locally developed priorities and enhancing accountability through direct public audit. This the devolution that ODM advocates for.

    The majimbo being espoused by Kibaki and Moi is alien to ODM and is their own creation. To reduce devolution to tribalism and dislocation of Kenyans is a dishonest guise in the quest to hold this country hostage to the current state of inequality, poverty and unemployment.

    They are caught in a time warp created by successive policies and practices that have abetted and nurtured a culture of exclusion, neglect and political patronage in a highly centralised government.

    This election will, therefore, be decided between those who want to empower Kenyans to make decisions at the grassroots and those who think they know what is good for every Kenyan and want to arrogate themselves the privilege of sheer patronage.

    No amount of distortion, blackmail and fear mongering can alter a people’s desire to take charge of their destiny. They have now coined their own majimbo and thrown it our way.

    It will not stick.

    The writer is the Eldoret North MP and a member of the ODM ‘Pentagon’

    Posted by Esmond Mogaka Onsomu | October 23, 2007, 9:00 pm
  2. Hmmmm, please check out the Majimbo debates on KenyaImagine.com

    Stephen Wainaina

    Posted by lesaniblog | October 25, 2007, 2:55 am

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