Four years on: Are Kenyans' dissatisfaction with devolution justified?

Are Kenyans' dissatisfaction with devolution justified?

Roho ni ile ile, the people will say with a sigh as they brace to lower previously held high performance expectations of elected leaders. And in the context of public service, this will often mean that mwananchi expected better performance from leaders, but as it turned out, this was too much to expect. The disappointments come in thick and fast and hopes for better, changed governance are lost.

Four years on: Are Kenyans' dissatisfaction with devolution justified?

With devolution, the excitement was that finally locals will have a say in the manner in which their local resources are managed and that the national cake will be better shared and managed to make a difference in their lives. A difference evident in the increased number of student enrolment in schools, especially primary and secondary. Perhaps to have better quality of classrooms, better healthcare facilities, with quality care; reduce long distances that women especially have to trek in such of water for domestic use. Improve the local business environment. The list of expectations go on and on. After all, this was the carrot during the campaign for the new constitution. After many years of public administration under the old constitutional dispensation that entrenched central government authority, the yearning has been there for the voice of the people to be listened to. The central government appeared very far off and could not clearly hear the voice of the citizen; and when it did, through the then provincial administration, it was often a one way conversation, top down monologue in which the citizen was expected receive instructions and to obey and act accordingly.


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