Of Devolution, Increasing Political Awareness & Participation

Since the promulgation of the 2010 constitution, Devolution has now become a word synonymous with the people of the Republic of Kenya.

It brought about changes in the service delivery and operations of the Government of Kenya. Devolution has opened up the country to new opportunities for people, businesses and the establishment of county governments.

Devolution subdivided the Country into counties from previous provinces and created wards within sub-counties.

Additionally, it increased the number of legislative representatives. It meant more leaders and unmistakably, it heightened political participation at the lowest levels possible.

Kenyans Queue to vote in a past election

The gift and the task

With the new constitution, wanjiku, at her prerogative has the responsibility to choose leaders from the ward level all the way to national level.

What was previously an election selection of two positions (Member of Parliament and President), has now metamorphosized into a selection of six positions.

The hefty task and responsibility that now rests upon the shoulders of mwananchi is to ensure he/she chooses the right combination of leaders for the sake of prosperity.

And so, with the creation of six new elective positions the participation gap for more Kenyans to get into the political space widened.

In 2013, many Men and women across the country, threw their hats into the ring and became new elected representatives.  Kenya had now increased new-faced leaders ready to offer leadership and dispense their duties and roles as per the new 2010 constitution.

As sure as night is day, time came for the subsequent election cycle in 2017 and elected leaders presented what they had done for five years of mandate.

Political awareness and participation

It is in the year 2017 that mwananchi became aware of what Government can do and should to do for its citizens.

Politics shifted more towards being about service delivery rather than the mere rhetoric of church and school fundraising speeches.

Leaders were finally being put on the spot as people became more aware of what the 2010 constitution and its deliverables. It was more people-centric devoid of leader ‘worship’.

So be it, many who requested mandates to lead in 2013, did not clinch back the leadership in 2017. The people had spoken and so it became.

The period 2017- 2022 enters a more enlightened wananchi. Evidently, more people are getting concerned with the county run-ins and development affairs, with constant comparisons vis a vis their counterparts.

Technology has since thrust more and more Kenyans into the involvement and participation in political matters by providing a platform for more information dissemination with regards to constitutional mandates and service delivery of various elective positions by their various national and devolved unit functions.

Kenya’s 3rd President, The Late Kibaki shares a moment with The Rt. Hon. Prime Minister Raila Odinga in a past occasion.

Remembering Kibaki

It would be true then to say that the current political happenings and the shaping of politics in Kenya now and in the future will be largely influenced by the 2010 constitution.

Recently we laid to rest our leader, one of our founding fathers, a good man, and our Third President of the Republic of Kenya, H.E. the President Emilio Mwai Kibaki, The leading architect of the constitution promulgated in the year 2010.  The nation remembers him for many things including and most pronounced, the improvement of our economy.

It would however be honorable to remember this man for what is now the shaping of politics in the country and in fact, thank him for what he did that has largely improved the participation of many more Kenyans in the political sphere.

Now, this is not to say that devolution is devoid of its demerits, surely they are many and colossal, but against the new frontier of endless possibilities as well as increased opportunities for more young people to get involved in the political spectrum, I say let’s keep going.

The future belongs to the brave and the bold.

Rest in God’s eternal Peace,  Emilio

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