By Phil Wesonga
As if attending a function accompanied by TNA Chairman Johnson Sakaja in the neighbourhood of an Okoa Kenya signatures function in Dagoreti North to be graced by CORD leader Raila Odinga (no less) is not bad enough, Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero rubs it in by promoting a hugely ignorant and absurd campaign that the proposed referendum “should be the last resort”.
The Nairobi Governor was subject of negative chanting from the crowd who interrupted the speech of Hon Odinga twice to express displeasure not just at Kideroâ€™s political prostitution, but also the fact that no devolution fruits are reaching the grassroots in Nairobi where there is non-existent services by the head of the county government. Ngâ€™oa yeye! They yelled.
I totally agree with the good people of Kawangware. This is a guy who barely survived the CORD nominations, and had to hang on the coat tails of Raila Odinga to win the coalition ticket which assured him a smooth ride the lofty office he occupies. Perhaps it is time the good Governor ought to shed the sheepâ€™s clothing and remain the greedy wolf that he is. CORD is not the home of cowardly and incompetent fence sitters.
Further, and this is something the governor should be told, there is no such thing as â€œa last resortâ€ in any bid to amend the constitution by popular initiative. Constitutional making is a process and not an event, Governor Kidero ought to know. A referendum is a form of direct democracy, which put the whole responsibility on the voter to make a decision between a ‘YES’ or ‘NO’ choice. It is neither a first or last resort; it is a provision that remains in the constitution which the voter can use at any time and without notice!
The fabulously wealthy Governor Kidero should therefore spare us the shallow and misguided interpretation of the constitution. As the custodian of devolution in Nairobi, the governor is seemingly comfortable to disenfranchise the majority urban poor in his county by blocking their demands for additional funding for devolution. He is rather happy to increase rates and rents that hurt the poor.
Governor Kidero remains â€œa cut and paste leaderâ€ from corporate world, with a dubious stint at Mumias Sugar Company, one who does not understand nor appreciate the foundation on which the office he serves stands. The elitist governor has no idea where and how the agitation for devolution started.
A simple internet search would reveal to Governor Kidero that in Britain which is a leading democracy in the world, there have been total of eight referendums between 1973 and the year 2000. Out of those eight, four referendums centred purely on strengthening and improving devolution. There was no last resort or prostituting oneself to the ruling class.
In Kenya, this is only our second referendum in more than 50 years! Who is fooling who? Now in case the governor does not understand, here are free civics lessons for him. Direct Democracy empowers the citizens so that they can have a word on all political matters, in that everyone is open to participate in governance.
In a direct democracy, the citizens are have power and responsibility for making new policies and laws. And this is something Kidero ought to know we now have in the constitution. It has taken Nairobi residents about a year to see that Governor Kidero is one deadly megalomaniac with no inkling of devolution agenda beyond massaging his humongous ego and superiority complex.
Bribing MCAâ€™s has made him survive possible impeachment, but he should be aware, CORD and the people have many ways through which they can force him out of the office. Meanwhile, we urge him to keep away anywhere near our Okoa Kenya signatures collection functions. To us, such remains an act of extreme provocation and we will retaliate.