STATE OF THE MESS ADDRESS, 2015.
The very shameful action of naming governors as corrupt by the president is, in and of itself, an act of corruption.
Corruption is not just the looting of public funds. Corruption, by and large, entails misuse of power.
Remember, each governor is called upon by the law, just like the President, to deliver the state of the county address where they too present to the public measures they are putting in place to tackle corruption and other issues bedevilling the counties.
The presidency in Kenya is taking too long to accept that the times as they are. The top two lived in the times as they were, and suffer from the hangovers of dictatorial, big man Kenya.
But Kenya stopped being the fiefdom it used to be.
By mentioning the governors, the President was engaging in his usual public relations gimmicks. He cannot force any governor to resign. He cannot force any action, legally speaking, to be taken against any governor.
To rescue corruption in counties, the only recourse is to RECALL the governors and, or, dissolve the county. It happened in Makueni, where residents followed the constitutionally sanctioned path to checking county excesses.
The people of Makueni collected the signatures and petitioned the president to dissolve the county. The signatures were verified by the IEBC and passed the threshold. He, the President, then formed a tribunal and, interestingly, the process has stuck somewhere in the presidential bureaucratic conveyor belt.
That’s the far the president can go. Politically, corruption in counties can only be fought by county residents. Legally, the INDEPENDENT Office of the DPP; the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission, the Ombudsman and other independent agencies as provided by the constitution are the other avenues, including the judiciary.
These agencies are not departments under the presidency nor should they report to the President. Governors, like the President, are only accountable to the people.
Yesterday, however, the President wanted to show that its not just his national officials who are corrupt, or engage in corruption, but also county officials. By doing so, his gullible supporters would be happy that the rot is shared.
The President can however use the presidency as a ‘bully pulpit’.
He can set the people against any particular governor. If he wants to fight corruption in counties; let him sack his officers, then rally the people to sack the governors. He can sack Davis Chirchir and Chairty Ngilu.He appointed them.
However, it is way beyond him to sack Migori’s Okoth Obado, or Bomet’s Isaac Rutto.
He can however present to the people of Bomet or those in Migori very compelling reasons, using his actions as a high example, why the governors should account.
Naming these leaders adversely is only meant to assassinate their characters in public. Smart politics but zilch governance. Each of these leaders are going to hire lawyers and that’s when you know how this country is a ‘rule of law’ country.
Corruption, being a crime, must be proven ‘beyond reasonable doubt’. Mere mention of an individual, how passionate you do it, in whatever words, phrases and sentences you use, cannot prove their guilt.
So yesterday, in so far as the counties go, was just a political stunt – the usual stunts.
County governments are not national government institutions. Governors are not presidential appointees neither do they serve at the behest of the presidency or presidency.
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You must be naive to think any cabinet secretary will resign.