JOHN BURUGU: AU­THOR AND AS­PIR­ING POLITI­CIAN

JOHN BURUGU, CAN­DI­DATE LARI CON­STITUENCY / Af­ter the pro­mul­ga­tion of the Con­sti­tu­tion in 2010, Burugu pub­lished a book Un­der­stand­ing Devo­lu­tion and Gov­er­nance in Kenya. Two years later, he pub­lished a sec­ond edi­tion whose con­tents were ap­proved by the Ken

The Star (Kenya) - - Front Page - IBRAHIM ORUKO @orukoi

JOHN BURUGU re­mem­bers the days when he served as Uhuru Keny­atta’s Per­sonal As­sis­tant with nos­tal­gia.

It was 16 years ago when Uhuru was a Nom­i­nated MP and Min­is­ter for Lo­cal Govern­ments in Kanu govern­ment.

“It was the first time I got a peek into real politics,” says the for­mer Dis­trict Of­fi­cer and au­thor. He was at one time ru­moured to be a pos­si­ble head of pub­lic ser­vice.

“The op­por­tu­nity in­tro­duced me into politics high politics even though I never served Uhuru for long.”

Hav­ing been sec­onded to Uhuru’s cabi­net of­fice in 2001, Burugu was forced to part ways with the fu­ture pres­i­dent when Uhuru was elected Gatundu MP in 2002 and be­came the Leader of Of­fi­cial Op­po­si­tion in 2003.

Even though he re­turned to his of­fi­cial post in the civil ser­vice, the brief so­journ in Uhuru’s of­fice had left him with a po­lit­i­cal itch that he is yet to scratch.

He prob­a­bly was the only other politi­cian from Kiambu who con­tested a par­lia­men­tary seat on Kanu in 2007, be­sides Uhuru.

Whereas Uhuru won in Gatundu South, Burugu lost in Lari largely be­cause of the strong PNU wave that hit the area at that time.

Burugu has set his eyes on the same seat come 2017 af­ter sit­ting out in 2013.

Af­ter the pro­mul­ga­tion of the Con­sti­tu­tion in 2010, Burugu pub­lished a book Un­der­stand­ing Devo­lu­tion and Gov­er­nance in Kenya.

Two years later, he pub­lished a sec­ond edi­tion whose con­tents were ap­proved by the Kenya In­sti­tute of Cur­ricu­lum De­vel­op­ment (KICD) for train­ing in devo­lu­tion mat­ters.

He says devo­lu­tion is one of the best things to have hap­pened to the mod­ern Kenyan state.

“It’s a con­se­quence of a long time cen­tralised de­ci­sion mak­ing,” he says, dis­count­ing claims that devo­lu­tion could have been a mis­take.

“Of course it is go­ing through some teething prob­lems, but all th­ese chal­lenges can be re­solved.”

In his es­ti­ma­tion, one of the lin­ger­ing chal­lenges devo­lu­tion faces is in its hur­ried im­ple­men­ta­tion and the fail­ure by the na­tional govern­ment to sur­ren­der some pow­ers re­lated to de­volved func­tions.

“We are rush­ing things that is why the we have chal­lenges in the im­ple­men­ta­tion.”

He cites the ra­pid­ity with which the Tran­si­tional Au­thor­ity’s man­date ex­pired even be­fore they could take an in­ven­tory of the pub­lic as­sets and li­a­bil­i­ties be­tween the two lev­els of the two govern­ments.

He also de­fends gov­er­nors for their role in devo­lu­tion say­ing in gen­eral terms most of them have had an im­pact and per­formed well.

“IN 2013 I SUP­PORTED JAMES NYORO BE­CAUSE I BE­LIEVED HE HAD THE BEST VI­SION FOR KIAMBU COUNTY. HE DID NOT MAKE IT. THIS TIME I AM READY TO WORK WITH ANY­ONE”

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