10 | BRIEFING

Nairobi Law Monthly - - Contents - – Sahil Seth Shah, Thika, County

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.

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