New Constitution Is A Majimbo Constitution
Fellow Kenyans, lend me your ears. Kenya has gone full circle to the majimbo constitution of 1963.
Unnoticed, an ethnic scramble for Kenya has been going on and has now culminated in an agreement that we shall ratify in a referendum on 4th August, 2010.
The agreement, not between people and leaders, but between elites of various ethnic communities, is the new constitution.
Though written with the blood of the victims of negative ethnicity, amazingly the new constitution is silent on this ideology that is almost singularly responsible for our problems today. But this is not by accident or default. It is for a good purpose by those who view negative ethnicity not as an enemy but as an ally.
Ably aided by highly concealed negative ethnicity, the new constitution has carved Kenya into 47 counties and given Kikuyus 7, Kalenjins 6, Coastals 5, Somalis 5, Luos 4, Luhyas 5, Kambas 3, Maasais 3, Merus 2, Abagusii 2, Embus 1, Taitas 1, Turkanas 1, Pokots 1 and Nairobians 1.
The scramble for Kenya is driven by negative ethnicity, hence the loud failure by the new constitution to declare war against it.
If the new constitution wins in the referendum, elections for county governors will follow, also driven by the negative ethnicity of voters electing governors from their own communities only. Though unstated in the new constitution, elections will turn counties into the ethnic States we were before the white man set foot in Kenya, with 7 sister counties ruled by Kikuyu governors, 6 sister counties ruled by Kalenjin governors, 5 sister counties ruled by Somali governors, 4 sister counties ruled by Luo governors, another 4 sister counties ruled by Luhya governors and every county being ruled by a governor from its own majority community until the map of Kenya is full of ethnic colors.
Unlike today when a Kikuyu can be a Provincial Commissioner in Nyanza, a Kalenjin in Central Province or a Somali in Rift Valley, in the Kenya of counties, no county will have a governor from outside the majority community. Under the new constitution, a Luo will never be governor in Kiambu, Kikuyu in Mandera or Kalenjin in Siaya.
As various ethnic communities take over exclusive governance of their counties, Kenya as we know it will cease to be. Only a shell of it will remain to host, loosely connected Kikuyu, Luo, Kalenjin, Somali and other ethnic counties.
With negative ethnicity firmly in the saddle of county politics, ethnic minorities will be accommodated in the counties of ethnic majorities but on terms of second class citizenship. Notwithstanding, Kikuyu, Luo, Kamba and other elites have embraced majimbo because they will be their masters and beneficiaries.
In counties where ethnic majorities are not clear or ethnic minorities are strong as in Nakuru, Migori, Trans Nzoia and Nairobi, ethnic groups will fiercely contend for political and resource control of the county.
The new constitution calls these ethnic counties devolution. More correctly, it should call them ethnic devolution or majimbo. Counties will be nothing but majimbo where ethnic majorities will take lion’s share of power and resources and ethnic minorities, crumbs.
In the name of devolution and ethnic parity, power and most resources will go to leaders of ethnic majorities and small jobs to locals not “foreigners.”
The Yes side will however say the new constitution talks of no majimbo anywhere. Correct, but as by nature and purpose, a lion called “sheep” will remain a lion, majimbo called counties will remain majimbo.
Indeed, counties will transform Kenya into a country of ethnic federalism held loosely together by a weakened central government.
If ethnic counties will balkanize Kenya, it will be dismembered by historical land injustices pursued by ethnic communities against others. To redress historical land injustices committed against every Kenyan community by colonialism, and aggravated by the greed of African leaders after independence, we may need to dismember Kenya – also a product of historical land injustices – and evict millions to restore their land to communities that owned it before colonialism.
With historical land injustices, the new constitution opens a Pandora’s box whose demons could destroy us all. No wonder African founding fathers did not disturb and let sleeping dogs lie at independence.
Koigi wa Wamwere.
23rd May, 2010.