Is the Call for A Referendum Justified?

The Kenyan political scene is a circus that never ceases in its innuendos. From elections to campaigns and campaigns to fresh elections.

The experience reminds me of the 2005 event which literally split the nation into the Orange and Banana antagonistic campaign fronts . This polarization greatly contributed to the post Election violence that rocked our country following the bungled presidential elections in 2007.

In 2010, the scenario was almost similar, although less heated than it had been  previously. The country is yet again tossed into the referendum debate, the main question being whether the Executive is frustrating the devolution agenda for the County Governments.

The push initially by the governors crusade and firmly supported by the Senators and most recently the Opposition under the three CORD principles. This argument is valid as long as it seeks to put the Central government in check and especially when it appears to frustrate the efforts of the Constitutionally recognized devolution process.

The counties in my opinion ought to be supported in establishing their governance structures and ensuring that the grassroots effect that they had so much hopes in, can really project towards improving their living standards. The  counties can and should cumulatively become the economic hubs for the nation. The natural resources present in these counties can be tapped and exploited for revenue both to the county and to the citizens. I concur, as far as the intentions of the governors crusade envisions my line of thinking, or something more organized.

In concurring with this point of view, I need to express my disapproval of the CORD’s top brass approach of overhauling the Presidential system of government for a Parliamentary one. This, in other words means that Parliamentarians would be entitled with choosing the Head of State and keep in check the decisions of the Executive. Most importantly, this would strip the electorate of the power to vet their head of State and in turn give way to the manipulation of MPs to influence voting outcomes.

If I were asked, I have more confidence in the current presidency than in the parliament. Our MPs are known for the greed that is always up their sleeves and with no one keeping them in check then only the worst can be imagined of them.
CORD, in keeping the government in check should not forget that we have a President who is legally in office and the least they can do is keep up with it while strategizing for the 2017 General Elections.

We instead should have counter policies from the Opposition. Policies that are mature and highly applicable to the lives of the citizenry… ones that could depict them a worthy alternative to the Jubilee government.

The nation is keenly watching as each party pulls on a different direction. Whether in pursuit of individual interests or the national agenda remains a mirage. Either way, the bickering needs to become more creative.

Ooko Victor – Secretary General, Students Union of Egerton University.

Ookoscope, the way it is!

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16 thoughts on “Is the Call for A Referendum Justified?

  1. Good one brother! Anyone can read this and make their own conclusion. I have to congratulate you as the first ever voice to be heard on the politolical arena from Egerton. Atleast you talk sense better than most of us here @ UoN

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  2. The Opposition Principals are opportunists. They were slowly but surely headed towards oblivion, then an opportunity presented itself for them to come back to the limelight. Their strategists ans advisers, however, did not give them the best advise….and this will cost them forever.

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  3. when it comes to giving 45% of the National budget to the counties, i think its just too much on the leaders we have. These counties with such empowerment will grow to kingdoms with the governor assuming the highly coveted Kingship status. Ask me and I say in future yes but not now. Secondly the government is expected to carry out capital investments as well as run the day in day out expenses like paying the civil servants who are calling for increment day after day! So let the Central government hold at least 70%.

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    • Mr Mukari, I have no problem with the empowerment of the counties since it’s effects would be beneficial to the common mwananchi, Most of the responsibilities of government should trickle down to the counties to enable this. With time the counties should be able to generate some share of their budgetary allocation. Why do you think the future looks more appealing than the present? Unless something is done, then the plan for the future would never become a reality. 2nd,the counties are also entitled to civil servants. With time they shall hold up pretty well to save the central government of the pay hike blushes.

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  4. plan to
    end the “tyranny of numbers” that
    it says swept Jubilee alliance into
    power through a referendum will
    shock voters from some of the
    nation’s more populated areas.
    It will see vote-rich counties like
    Kiambu, Meru, Machakos,
    Mombasa and Murang’a lose
    some of their significance in
    electing the president.
    Smaller counties benefitting the
    most from the proposed changes,
    relative to their voter numbers,
    include Busia, Migori, Homa Bay,
    Garissa, Turkana, Mandera and
    Vihiga. The prospect of such a
    shake-up is likely to make selling
    the change from a presidential
    system to a parliamentary one a
    hard sell for the Opposition.
    Raila’s move has pushed
    Governors, who wanted a
    referendum to give counties more
    powers, to distance themselves
    from his proposal.
    Speaking in Kwale this week,
    CORD leader Raila Odinga
    declared the coalition would seek
    to change the way Kenyans elect
    their president through a
    referendum. His party says it
    wants 431 popularly elected
    delegates to vote in a president.
    According to Machakos Senator,
    Johnstone Muthama, this
    American-style ‘electoral college’
    would be made up of County
    Governors, Senators and Women’s
    representatives, and Members of
    the National Assembly, all of who
    would apparently be free to vote
    their conscience.
    As the delegates come from
    existing electoral units, the plan
    will see counties with large
    populations but few constituencies
    lose their grassroots advantage.
    Same clout
    Kiambu, which has more than
    860,000 registered voters, will
    have the same clout (15 delegate
    votes) as Kakamega, which has
    300,000 fewer voters. Homa Bay,
    Machakos, Kitui and Migori will all
    have 11 delegates each, even
    though the largest has 445,000
    voters and the smallest just
    287,000. Meru, which has twice
    as many voters as Migori, gets
    just one delegate more.
    Mombasa, Nyeri, Uasin Gishu and
    some eight other counties will
    have nine delegates each. The
    three smallest counties (Garissa,
    Turkana and Mandera) will have
    27 delegates between them even
    though their combined voter totals
    are less than the number of voters
    registered in either Mombasa or
    Nyeri.
    An alternative plan proposed by
    The March 4 Movement assumes
    431 votes for the presidency
    earned automatically by winning a
    majority in any county or
    constituency post. No delegates
    would be required to vote again.
    This plan has the support of
    former Raila campaign manager
    Eliud Owalo.

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  5. u haven’t read enough abt the parliamentary election of the president ……hv enough information b4 u post …..I think u hv just had stories abt this ……and nt the real contents ….!!!!!!!!

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