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August, 2018

 

Do a clean sweep at AK

By EDITORIAL
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The International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) finally delivered its verdict on suspended Athletics Kenya (AK) officials David Okeyo and Joseph Kinyua.

Okeyo, the former AK vice president, was found guilty of appropriating Sh120 million forwarded to the federation’s account by their sponsor, Nike, besides receiving bribes. He has now been handed a life ban from athletics and a fine of Sh15 million.

Moreover, he was found to have gone against IAAF Code of Ethics on many occasions. And the federation is not through with him yet. He is bound to suffer more sanctions over accusations he solicited bribes, which charge has not been adjudicated upon.

CODE OF ETHICS

Even though Kinyua was found to have engaged in similar conduct, the IAAF Board acquitted him stating he was not covered under the 2003 Code of Ethics that prosecuted Okeyo.

Charges against the former AK President, Isaiah Kiplagat, were dropped after he passed away in August 2016 while the case against former AK CEO Isaac Mwangi is still on. Mwangi is alleged to have solicited bribes from athletes, who tested positive for banned substances, with a view of clearing or reducing their penalties.

The ruling following the investigations by Sharad Rao has simply exposed the financial improprieties that have been happening at Riadha House, the Athletics Kenya headquarters.

The fact that some of officials were not bound by IAAF Code of Ethics does not really exonerate them. AK executive with the assistance of IAAF should conduct further investigations to get to the bottom of the rot in athletics management.

SCHEMING OFFICIALS

We can only trust in the current office if the corrupt are swept out of the sport management.

AK can’t afford to sweep this issue under the carpet. Athletes must be protected from the greedy and scheming officials.

It is sad that some AK officials resorted to diverting federation funds for personal gain unabated when they are supposed to be developing the sport. It’s that kind of behaviour that encourage athletes to seek shortcuts throw cheating. The IAAF ruling should be a wake-up call to AK — it must put its house in order and seal loopholes that allow pilferage and corrupt deals.


End the war between courts and Executive

By EDITORIAL
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The independence of the Judiciary has been the subject of public debate following the turbulent events in recent weeks. The arrest and subsequent arraignment in court of Deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu marked the lowest point for the Judiciary, striking at the core of its leadership and throwing out the veil of mystique and respectability that surround the institution.

Since, this has renewed debate on the relationship between the Judiciary and the Executive and as well as Legislature, with the accent being there is something ominous in the air. At the heart of the conversation is the infamous statement by President Uhuru Kenyatta last year, where he threatened to revisit the Supreme Court nullification of his election. Such were those regrettable statements that come to haunt an individual for years.

CASES BACKLOG

Currently, the issues in contention are as follows. First, Parliament drastically cut the budget for the Judiciary, rendering the institution incapable of conducting its affairs. As currently constituted, the Judiciary is understaffed, poorly resourced and technologically-challenged to deliver justice. It requires funding to expand and equip the courts with modern facilities, as well as recruit more judicial officers. Importantly, it needs to digitise its records and automate its operations to expedite administration of justice. These inadequacies, combined with corruption, have contributed largely to the huge backlog of cases.

Second, there is a contest over the composition of the Judicial Service Commission, which is the constitutional body charged with the responsibility of managing the Judiciary. To date, it is not fully constituted. Five of its commissioners have not been sworn in due to the pull and push between the Executive and the Judiciary and there is no indication this will end soon. Since, fears have been expressed that should Justice Mwilu be put on trial and lose her position, JSC will not have quorum.

GOOD GOVERNANCE

Independence of the Judiciary is core to the administration of justice, enforcement of liberties and promotion of good governance.

Taken together, these have a bearing on the independence and performance of the Judiciary. Yet, the current Constitution has fortified the institution. It is because of this independence that the Supreme Court could nullify presidential election results, a feat never heard of, or anticipated before. In recent years, the Judiciary has overturned laws enacted by Parliament that it deemed unconstitutional. This created bad blood between it and the Legislature.

The point we are making is that we need to end the silent war between the Judiciary and the other two arms of government — Executive and Legislature — because it is slowly derailing judicial processes and portends ill for the administration of justice. We call for resolution of the stalemate over the swearing in of the JSC commissioners and a review the budgetary allocation to the Judiciary.


Hue and cry as IEBC reveals plans to review electoral zones

By NATION TEAM
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There was an uproar yesterday following an announcement by the electoral agency that the upcoming review of boundaries could lead to the merging, reduction or increase in the sizes of 27 constituencies.

Though it will not change the number of the constituencies, which must remain 290 unless Kenyans change it in a referendum, the review of boundaries — almost a year and a half away — is already causing political ripples with those affected demanding that it be shelved.

Others who spoke to the Saturday Nation said some constituencies were created to address issues of marginalisation in counties with minority groups, and reversing that, they argue, will deny the people in those constituencies the right to representation.

RAMIFICATIONS

Boundary reviews are usually very emotive issues, with sometimes almost instant political ramifications.

Some current members of parliament who had battled for ages with old, more experienced politicians got a lifeline after the review of boundaries in 2012 created a constituency where they could thrive without the shadow of the older, more-moneyed MP.

On Friday, MPs from constituencies, which will be affected by the review were asking residents to show up in large numbers for the national census — an important exercise that will inform whether or not the 27 have met the population quota required to remain a constituency.

In Taita Taveta County, for example, all the four constituencies of Voi, Taveta, Wundanyi, and Mwatate are on the radar as they did not meet the quota, and with 155,000 voters, the county can only make a single constituency.

RESISTANCE

“I call upon all our brothers and sisters who relate with Budalang’i to return home ahead of the census. I understand we have residents who were forced out of Budalang’i by floods and bought land elsewhere while some are in diaspora. This is the time to stand out and be counted,” Budalang’i MP Raphael Wanjala said.

In Mukurweini, MP Gathiaka Kiai said “each constituency in our region must maintain its identity”, and that there will be a “total resistance” if they change the boundaries.

“We are telling people to participate in the census and be counted back at rural areas. This will ensure the government resources are rewarded according to the number of residents,” said Mr Kiai.

30 PER CENT

The census will be done on March 24 and 25, next year, after which the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) will then review the population quota.

The population of a constituency must be greater or lesser than the quota — arrived at by dividing Kenya’s total population with the 290 constituencies — by 40 per cent for cities, and 30 per cent for rural areas.

During the last boundaries review, the population quota was set at 133,138 for rural areas and 186,393 for constituencies in cities of Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu.

In central Kenya, those that risk of being scrapped are Kangema, Ndaragwa, Mathioya, Tetu, Mukurweini, and Othaya.

Other constituencies on the IEBC’s radar are Lamu East, Lamu West, Mvita, Mwatate, Taveta, Wundanyi, Voi, Bura, Galole, at the Coast, and Samburu East, Marakwet East, Mogotio, and Keiyo North in Rift Valley.

The others are Vihiga, Budalang’i, Isiolo South, Kilome, Laisamis, North Horr, Saku, and Mbeere North.

The 27 constituencies did not meet the quota, and were protected by an Act of Parliament — a protection that will not be available when the Chebukati-led team goes out to review the boundaries.

The review should be done at intervals of not less than eight years and not more than 12 years, but should be completed at least 12 months before a General Election.

There are those who say IEBC should use the upper limit of 2024 to undertake the review, after the 2022 polls.

But while other central Kenya MPs protested against the planned review, Kangema MP Muturi Kigano said he supports the review, and even called for a reduction of the number of constituencies “because we are too many”.

“The neighbouring Kiharu constituency is bigger than Kangema and Mathioya combined,” noted Mr Kigano.

In Busia, residents urged Mr Wanjala to join forces with the other 26 colleagues and table a Bill in parliament that will ensure only new constituencies are repealed.

The seven Busia County constituencies are occupied by sub tribes. The Iteso are dominant in Teso North and Teso South Constituencies, Matayos and Nambale have Bakhayos, Butula (Marachi), Funyula (Samia) and Budalang’i (Banyala).

“Where will we fit if the constituency is scrapped off?” Mr John Okomba, a resident, lamented.

By Patrick Lang’at, Gaitano Pessa, Derick Luvega, Kazungu Samuel, Lucy Mkanyika, and Joseph Wangui


Judge sold land bank held as security fraudulently, says DPP

By BRIAN WASUNA
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Deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu sold the two parcels of land in Nairobi that she reclaimed from Imperial Bank where they had been used as security for a Sh60 million loan, court filings have now revealed.

Documents Justice Mwilu has filed in court indicate that, after recovering the properties through a process that has now landed her in trouble, she sold the land for an undisclosed amount.

The criminal cases revolve around 10 pieces of land that Justice Mwilu acquired. She still owns seven of the properties. Nation has been able to establish that three of the parcels are worth Sh231 million, based on the stamp duty she has been accused of evading.

SUBSTITUTE

The judge says she is unable to produce title deeds for two of the land parcels (reference numbers 330/634 worth at least Sh61 million and 3734/1297 worth at least Sh90 million).

Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji says the judge fraudulently recovered her properties from the bank after she “induced” KDIC CEO and Imperial Bank receiver manager Mohamud Mohamud in the pretext that she would substitute them with another piece of land.

Justice Mwilu approached the Kenya Deposit Insurance Corporation on November 12, 2015 seeking to have the two prime properties, referenced as 3734/202 and 3734/209 at the lands registry, released to her because she had found a buyer for them.

FIVE PIECES

At the time, KDIC’s Peter Gatere was Imperial Bank’s receiver manager. He was however replaced by KDIC CEO Mohamud Ahmed Mohamud.

Mr Mohamud responded to the judge’s letter on December 22, 2015 and demanded that she offset a Sh60 million short-term loan the lender had given her using the sale proceeds. The short-term loan was secured with title deeds for five separate pieces of land.

The two pieces of land had been used as security for a separate loan, long-term, also Sh60 million. By the time Justice Mwilu sought the discharge of her properties, the loan stood at Sh59.3 million.

SH60 MILLION

After selling the land, Justice Mwilu offset the Sh60 million short term loan, and an unsecured loan that had a Sh2 million balance. The judge says she was in 2013 issued with a Sh12 million loan.

She paid the lender Sh65 million in January, 2016. The Sh3 million was used to offset part of the long term loan, leaving a Sh56.3 million balance on the borrowing.

The documents have been filed in Justice Mwilu’s petition seeking to block fraudulent recovery of loan security, abuse of office, tax evasion and forgery charges that she could now face.

Chief Magistrate Lawrence Mugambi yesterday suspended the criminal case after Justice Mwilu obtained a court order suspending her prosecution.

CRIMINAL CASE

The judge and Mr Kiima were yet to be charged, hence are yet to respond to the allegations in the criminal case. But Justice Mwilu has denied any wrongdoing in her petition.

She was to be charged alongside lawyer Stanley Muluvi Kiima, who acted for the Supreme Court judge in all the land transactions that have now threatened to end both their careers.

Justice Mwilu says she cleared the short term loan, but does not explain whether she substituted the loan security with a different land parcel as promised.


20 politicians pin election hopes on Supreme Court

By SAM KIPLAGAT
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About 20 politicians who lost their election petitions in the High and Appellate courts have taken their cases to the Supreme Court.

Buoyed by the nullification of the presidential election on September 1, 2017, many losers rushed to court, challenging the results.

And a year later, three governors, a senator and several MPs are still in court.

National Super Alliance leader Raila Odinga and his running mate Kalonzo Musyoka moved to the Supreme Court and successfully challenged the election of President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto.

For the first time in Africa, a presidential election was nullified throwing Kenya into another campaign mode.

In a majority decision, the Supreme Court ordered a repeat election and directed the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission to do it in compliance with the Constitution.

The October 26, 2017 repeat election results were also challenged but the Supreme Court dismissed the case filed by Mr Njonjo Mue and Khelef Khalifa.

Some 388 petitions were filed in court, with 98 challenging the election of MPs, 12 against woman representatives, 15 for senators and 113 for ward representatives.

The Judiciary gave priority to the petitions, with some judges handling two or three cases.

Judges and magistrates had six months to hear and determine the poll petitions.

By the end of March 2018, 40 petitions were successful while 312 had been dismissed.

Some 34 cases were withdrawn while one case ended when a respondent died.

OVERTURNED

So far, the Court of Appeal has allowed 13 petitions while 20 are pending.

Judges have until the end of September to clear the cases.

Governors whose wins were nullified are Mohamed Abdi (Wajir), Cyprian Awiti, (Homa Bay) and Embu’s Martin Wambora.

The Court of Appeal reversed the decision to nullify Mr Wambora’s victory, saying the petitioner — Mr Lenny Kivuti — did not prove his claims of malpractice. The former Embu Senator has since moved to the Supreme Court.

MPs whose wins were nullified include Paul Ongili, also known as Babu Owino (Embakasi East), David Kangogo Bowen (Marakwet East), Alfred Keter (Nandi Hills) and Turkana Woman Rep Joyce Emanikor. Fourteen MCAs lost their seats.

A number of politicians moved to the Court of Appeal and successfully had the rulings against them overturned.

Those who retained their seats are Mr Owino, Mr Keter, Mr Bowen and Ms Emanikor and Ms Annie Wanjiku Kibe of Gatundu North.

The election of Wajir West MP Mohamed Ahmed Kolosh had also been nullified but the lawmaker was successful upon appeal.


Officials bid time for law to take effect

By EDWIN OKOTH
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Millions of motorists were holding their breath until late Friday in the hope that President Uhuru Kenyatta will sign into law the proposed deferment of the 16 per cent VAT on petroleum products for two more years.

MPs offered a near relief on Wednesday when they voted to push the proposed tax that was meant to kick in Saturday.

A legal loophole, however, is likely to see the Energy Regulatory Commission implement the tax on petrol, diesel and Kerosene, increasing pain at the pump which may see a litre of petrol rise to Sh131.

Before the signature by the President, the order by National Treasury Secretary Henry Rotich for the implementation of VAT on fuel will take effect today.

ERC Director-General Pavel Oimeke who had not responded to calls and text over the matter was earlier quoted as saying that unless the law was changed, the tax would be loaded onto pump prices from September 1, which is today.

Experts who spoke to the Saturday Nation said the tax will be legally in force as long as the amendment to the Bill that was passed on Wednesday has not been signed by the President, who was scheduled to fly out to China last night.

Several sources within the energy regulator, KRA, Ministry of Petroleum and Mining and Treasury were tight-lipped over the VAT choosing to let the VAT Act fall into place.


Want to steer clear of cults? Here are five ways

By NJOKI CHEGE
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Anecdotal evidence suggests that victims of cults masquerading as churches are not necessarily the uneducated or the under-exposed as we have wrongly thought all along. They are the elite among us; those we expect to know better. Although they are the most unlikely targets, they form a significant chunk of hopeless victims of these collared thugs. The victims today are young, hip, moneyed and surprisingly quite exposed. They spend most of there time on social media, spaces which these con-artists have mastered and in which they have amassed a legion of followers. The victims look successful, solidly ensconced in well-paying jobs, but they really are broken people — having endured trauma from their childhoods, past relationships or marriages that ended too soon. This trauma has crystallised into insecurities that the mummy and daddy pastors prey on.

They have a skewed view of God. They confuse being religious with being spiritual. They are living double lives; on the one hand they truly want to find healing for their brokenness, but they also struggle with vices such as alcoholism and drug abuse. The daddy pastors — the avuncular crooks who prey on them instead of earnestly reaching out to them — have monetised this national disaster. Today, I want to show young people — and especially young women — the red flags they should look out for in a cult camouflaged as a church.

1. Isolation

This is the hallmark of any cult. Does your church isolate you from your family and friends? Do you see your mummy pastor or daddy pastor more often than you see your family or friends? As a rule, cult masters seek to isolate you so that they can control you. If you find yourself spending too much time in church — unless of course you are gainfully employed there — chances are that you are part of a cult. Life is about balance; family, church and work … in no particular order. And if you find a church that seeks to disrupt this balance, be very afraid.

2. Over-exaltation of the church leaders

Church leaders must be respected. However, has your pastor has made the church about himself or herself? Do you find yourself more obsessed with the head of the church than with God himself? The personality worship could range from the blatant, downright obvious, or, and pay attention here, it could be very subtle. It often begins mildly, with strategies that involve the mummy or daddy pastor making their life a “testimony”. This testimony is usually accompanied by a fishy “rags-to-riches” sob-story that nobody else can corroborate. The mummy pastor tries to paint her life as the “ultimate” success story — subtly urging faithful to emulate her. Don’t be fooled, though. There is only one head of the church that we all should emulate, and it is definitely not your daddy pastor.

3. Too personal

Does your pastor urge you to open up to them about your personal issues, childhood trauma, marital or financial problems? If yes, approach with caution. They don’t care about you or your well-being. They are collecting dirt on you. They want to understand your weakness so that they know what buttons to push to loosen your purse strings. I know pastors double up as counsellors, but I would like to warn you from being vulnerable to strangers whose credentials and back story you are unsure of.

4. Guilt Trips

There is nowhere in the Holy Writ where God manipulates or corners His people to give tithes and offerings. These things are voluntary. You either give or you don’t and if you don’t, God is not a mean guy who will strike you dead.

Nobody should guilt-trip you into giving money to the church. And if they do, you are in a cult. In fact, this point is so important because most cults survive on members’ money. That fraudulently-got money is the oxygen of cultic organisations. Your mummy or daddy pastors are not rich because they work hard; they are rich because your tithe goes straight to their bank accounts.

5. Your instincts

If there is anything I have learnt in life, it is to trust my guts. You never go wrong by trusting your instincts. If you feel that there is something that just doesn’t sit right in that church, get up and leave.

Walk away, if you think you are being conned. If you are having doubts with the dogma and the philosophies of that church, if they are doing strange things that you are certain are not right, and if, most importantly, there are no mechanisms for accountability, financial or otherwise, walk away and join a church that truly cares about you.


Plan to legalise game meat does not make much sense

I read with some confusion an article (Daily Nation, August 22, 2018) about a proposal to legalise game meat. Confusion because only a few days before, there was a report on the significant decline in the numbers of Kenya’s wildlife, with many now endangered or close to extinction. I have fond childhood memories of travelling by road from Karatina to Nairobi when there were some stretches along that route were full of Thomson’s gazelles.

I accept that times have changed and human population has increased. I do not expect that there will be as many wild animals as when I was a child 60 years ago. What I do not understand is why we are suddenly thinking of legalising and commercialising game meat. Where is this sudden demand for it? Obviously it is not from the vast majority of Kenyans.

TROPHY HUNTING

In the absence of adequate information, one could speculate: Has the world’s most populous country suddenly developed an appetite for African game meat? Who has the contract to supply it? Have some Kenyans and/or foreigners devised a way to sneak back game and trophy hunting? If the issue is about food security, why is it being handled by the ministry of Tourism?

Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala is quoted as having said “all wildlife belongs to the government …” I say all wildlife belongs to the Kenyan people. Mr Balala should explain to Kenyans what is the real or perceived priority need that commercialising game meat is supposed to address, by what process the need has been identified and how the views of Kenyans have been incorporated in that process.

If we are genuinely investigating better “wildlife utilisation,” let us discuss how to make the most of live rather than dead animals. This would include effective management of human-wildlife conflict and more involvement of, and benefits to affected indigenous communities. President Jomo Kenyatta outlawed commercial game meat and trophy hunting. This was due to the effects of that activity on wildlife numbers. If indeed there are some species that have now grown beyond the carrying capacity of the land, can Kenyans be presented with credible independent evidence — not from the same interest groups that are pushing for the commercialisation of wild meat?

KENYA’S HERITAGE

Judging from past experience, I hope that this is not one of those matters that are presented as being proposed, only for Kenyans to discover that implementation is very advanced.

Finally, what should be the roles of the respective ministries dealing with the environment, natural resources and national heritage, rather than just tourism? Wildlife is part of Kenya’s, and indeed the world’s, heritage. Its value goes beyond tourism income.

WANDIA SEAFORTH, Nairobi.


Mystery surrounds death of Idriss Mukhtar's shooter in police cell

By ELVIS ONDIEKI
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Questions on Friday emerged on the circumstances under which the main suspect in the shooting of former Garissa County minister Idriss Mukhtar died in a police cell, with reports that the family was yesterday denied a chance to view the body.

David Mwai, who was suspected to have been the man captured on CCTV shooting Idriss at close range, died on Thursday while in a cell at Parklands Police Station and, though police sources pointed at suicide, the family thinks otherwise.

WIFE MISSING

Mr Mwai’s sister Esther Wanjiru is the last family member who spoke with him before his death. Yesterday, neither Ms Wanjiru nor her family could be allowed access to his body, according to activist Boniface Mwangi, who has taken up the role of advocating for the family.

“They have been told that a post-mortem will be done on the body; so they should return on Monday,” Mr Mwangi told the Nation Friday evening.

Moreover, Mr Mwangi said, Mr Mwai’s wife has not been traced since Tuesday when she was arrested with the prime suspect.

POLICE CELLS

The family of the late Mwai called on the DPP to open investigations into how he died at the police cells.

“I suspect that there is some foul play,” she told the Saturday Nation, accompanied by her aunt Ruth Kibugi. “My brother called me on Wednesday while in police cells and told me that some people had promised to bust him out of the cells, but I discouraged him,” she said.

Ms Wanjiru said that her brother, a 28 year old father of two, had confessed to the crime. “He told me that he did it. I advised him not to take any other extra-legal option that he was being promised. I told him to let the law take its course,” she said.

CONCLUSIONS

The Director of Criminal Investigations (DCI) George Kinoti, who has taken over the investigations into what appears to have been an attempt on Mr Idriss’ life, could not be reached over Mr Mwai’s alleged suicide but sources close to the prober said an inquiry file had been opened into the matter.

“The way to go is to open an inquiry file to look at the matter before any conclusions can be made. Also, a post-mortem examination will have to be conducted to ascertain the exact cause of death.

“It is not common for suicides to occur in police cells because we take every precaution to ensure the safety of those in our custody and that is why we do not allow items like belts in police cells,” said a senior police officer privy to the case.

BULLET IN HEAD

Friday’s occurrences have compounded the mystery around the shooting of Idriss, a 33-year-old holder of a Master’s in Business Administration and a PhD student at Kenyatta University, who is currently in a coma at Nairobi Hospital with a bullet lodged in his head.

Idriss was shot in Nairobi’s Kileleshwa on the night of August 19. CCTV footage from the scene shows a lone gunman walking into his compound as the gate was ajar. He then fired three shots at Idriss’ then walked away, boarding an awaiting motorcycle on his way out.

Our enquiries revealed that the relationship between Idriss and Garissa Governor Ali Korane — one of the people quizzed over the shooting — is a tale of friends-turned-foes.

SH17 MILLION

According to Idriss’ father Dr Aden Mukhtar, the ex-county minister was one of the financiers and campaigners of Governor Korane ahead of last year’s General Election as he sought to unseat the county’s first Governor, Nathif Jama.

Then, said Dr Mukhtar, there was optimism that Mr Korane would return the favour when he clinched the governorship. After all, they are from the same clan.

At the time when Mr Korane was elected, Idriss had spent several months without a job as he had earlier been fired by Governor Jama from his post as the county’s Finance executive.

Idriss, alongside two other county ministers who were also sacked by the Jama government, later sued and were awarded Sh17 million each.


Makueni success story inspires county bosses

By PIUS MAUNDU
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Makueni Governor Kivutha Kibwana recently hosted governors from the other 46 counties during a benchmarking conference on the county’s successful public participation approach.

His achievements impressed many of his colleagues who are keen to implement what they learnt in their counties.

One such governor is Kirinyaga County’s Anne Waiguru, who seems to be in a hurry to adopt what she learnt.

On Tuesday, Ms Waiguru sent three senior officers in her government back to Makueni to further study Prof Kibwana’s public participation model, which was the highlight of the conference.

MONITOR PROJECTS

Those who attended the forum learnt that citizen engagement does not end with ordinary people just giving their views on projects — the government must continuously involve citizens throughout the development cycle.

Citizens also vet candidates for village administrators, monitor projects in progress, and vet beneficiaries of Tetheka Fund, a local affordable revolving fund, as well as applicants of school and college bursaries.

“At various levels on the ground, the people must approve completed projects. It is only when they are satisfied that the county government can process payments,” Prof Kibwana said.

While it is agreed that each county had excelled in a thing or two, the Council of Governors and the World Bank believe that Makueni has outdone its peers when it comes to involving its citizens in deciding on and oversighting public works.

COMPLEX MATRIX

This is why the World Bank, though the Council of Governors, brought the other governors to learn about the model, and compare notes on their models of citizen engagement, an approach termed as a key ingredient of sustainable development.

The county’s development model is premised on a complex matrix of citizen development committees consisting of eleven volunteers at each of the six administration levels, from the villages to the county level.

At the village level, residents sit and propose development projects based on their pressing needs and guided by the county’s development plans such as Vision 2025 and escalate them to the next level where the proposed projects are appraised.

SHINING MODEL

“Since 2013 our annual budgeting processes and the developing of the County Integrated Development Plan (CIDP) have been undertaken through public participation. In fact, public interest in our public participation events has gradually increased. This year up to 120,000 people out of the almost one million people in the county participated in the making of our CIDP 2018-2022,” Prof Kibwana told his peers.

The governors lauded Prof Kibwana’s model of development. “I have since learnt that if you make a road without public participation you are doing nothing,” said Mr Rasanga.

Devolution CS Eugene Wamalwa termed Makueni “a shining beacon of devolution” and extolled the importance of governments involving citizens in development.

He, however, cautioned counties against attempting to copy the Makueni model. “You can develop your own public participation systems,” he said.