Coast leaders push for ‘majimbo’
1 weeks ago, 08:56
Kenya should become a federal republic. That was the message from Coast leaders to the Building Bridges Initiative team, when its members visited the region yesterday.
Kilifi Governor Amason Kingi said this would end cut-throat competition for the presidency, foster inclusiveness and reduce the likelihood of electoral violence.
The governor told the Building Bridges Initiative team that the regional states should have full political and financial autonomy.
And when the team visited Mombasa, Joho said Kenya should be divided into 12 regions and called for a parliamentary system of governance.
He also said devolution, in its current form, is legally weak and not viable. He, however, said, the same can be strengthened with additional power and resources to regions and protected by a strong Senate as envisaged in the Bomas draft constitution.
Proposals by Joho and Kingi are a climb down from their earlier calls for secession of the coastal region.
Joho suggested that counties, as the first tier of government, should fall under regional states.
In this arrangement, he said, the national government would get 30 per cent of national revenue.
He also said presidential, regional government, senatorial and national assembly elections should be held separately.
Joho also called for expansion of the executive to include a prime minister and two deputies. Cabinet secretaries should be picked from MPs, he said.
“To me, there is no harm in creating another tier of government. Functions of each tier of government should determine the amount of resources allocated. The third tier can be given 30 per cent of resources. This, however, requires broader discussion,” Joho argued.
According to Kingi, the national government should cede control of police and only retain key functions such as defence and foreign affairs as everything is controlled and managed by the federal states.
The governor believes the current system of devolution in Kenya was deliberately manipulated and weakened so it can fail and condemn county governments to dependency on the national government.
“There were many issues affecting Coast region which made us call for secession. However, when we discused the matter further, we thought secession will take a lot of time and even create violence. We thought of a way of having our grievances addressed without us seceding. And the only thing Coast people will accept is a full federal system of governance,” Kingi said.
A federal republic is a federation of states. In a federal republic, there is a division of powers between the federal government and the government of the individual subdivisions. While each federal republic manages this division of powers differently, common matters relating to security and defence, and monetary policy are usually handled at the federal level, while matters such as infrastructure maintenance and education policy at the regional level.
On the other hand, Majimbo is a Swahili term commonly used in Kenya to refer to the idea of political devolution of power to the country’s regions.
Kingi said regions cannot enjoy autonomy and power, and develop unless they have control over land, hence the need to abolish the National Land Commission.
He said ...
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