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Monday, August 30, 2010

How your county government will transform Kenyan politics

I missed the Katiba celebrations because I came down with something quite serious on Friday night. Am still resting but mercifully the worst is now over. I guess we shall have to continue my weekend special on the Kamba people next weekend.

There are many things in Kenya which are going to change enormously after the events of last Friday. In fact right now my big worry is if Kenyans can handle change on such a massive scale and at such speed. The human mind and body is designed to take in change much more gradually. But alas this is what tends to happen when a people get so totally fed up with the old order of things. They reach a place where they just want out and have no time to stop and ask themselves if they can handle the change they seek.
Many political commentators agree that they have never seen the president so passionate about something (like he has been about the new constitution) and they have never seen him so happy about something (like he was in the picture after signing the new constitution into law). The fact that Kibaki delivered the new constitution has rescued his legacy rather dramatically. Lucky man!!

But for the purposes of this post let me focus on the change in our politics that the new constitution will usher in. Do you know the most powerful political seat, indeed more powerful than the presidency in our new constitution? I am of course talking about the Governor of a county. For instance the president’s appointments will have to be approved by parliament but the governors will NOT. I mean this man or woman will have such power in the county that even retired President Moi who was a god in his time, will envy.

What all this means is that the public will lose interest in National politics. It will all be happening in the counties where decisions will be made every day that will impact very dramatically and quickly on the people’s lives.

I keep wondering about how the media will adjust. The media in Kenya has gone through many changes in the recent past and now comes this most dramatic and far-reaching one of a new constitution with new demands. I see media houses like Royal Media services having a head start over other media houses since they have such a large stable of FM radio stations covering many different regions of the country. There will be great need for media at the counties and I would expect the FM stations to be the initial major form of communication at this level. There will also be opportunities for quick thinking entrepreneurs to find a way to make low circulating newspapers work. Some prosperous counties may even be able to sustain their own TV stations. Indeed even Kumekucha has to re-invent itself to fit snugly into the new Kenya and I am still thinking about that very deeply and will appreciate suggestions from my usually quick-witted readers here.

There have been fears amongst some old school Kenyans who will always want to believe that nothing but the old systems can work in Kenya, to the effect that counties will promote tribalism. Admittedly a few short-sighted governors may want to promote negative ethnicity at the beginning but they will soon find that their counties are lagging behind. The bottom line will be to promote the prosperity of one’s county at all costs and the way to do this is to co-operate with other counties while encouraging a rapid influx of investors from other counties. Smart governors will seek to find what resources and talents their areas of jurisdiction can best exploit because the truth is that nobody can be good at everything. So it is unlikely that any county will be self sufficient in everything.

True entrepreneurs should now be rubbing their hands in glee waiting for the full implementation of the new constitution. This is because there will be massive new opportunities at the county level for all kinds of things. For starters basic essential services like water and electricity are going to be in very high demand and so companies that deal in solar energy, water tanks and other basics should be positioning themselves to sell proposals to respective counties. Entrepreneurs prosper while solving people’s problems and so enterprising companies will now have to take a serious look at the problems in counties and how their products and services can help solve them.

And that brings me to the most important change in politics that counties will bring. The focus will shift from individuals to issues. Until now our politics has always been about personalities whilst real issues have mostly been ignored.

I dare say that what I love most about this new order of things is that silly tribal comments like Kikuyu this and Raila that will lose all meaning even in a blog like this one. That will be the day!!!


Mwarang'ethe said...

Entrepreneurs prosper while solving people’s problems and so enterprising companies will now have to take a serious look at the problems in counties and how their products and services can help solve them.


Spot on bwana Chris.


I am of course talking about the Governor of a county. For instance the president’s appointments will have to be approved by parliament but the governors will NOT.


U mean like Nigerian governors?


But for the purposes of this post let me focus on the change in our politics that the new constitution will usher in. Do you know the most powerful political seat, indeed more powerful than the presidency in our new constitution? I am of course talking about the Governor of a county



We aread Mutula Kilonza claiming that, Kenyan counties are so unique and as such, we need foreign expertise on implemting them.

There is nothing special about counties. Sweden has counties 21. They also have governors.

However, that is not ESSENTIALLY why Sweden is more "developed."


What all this means is that the public will lose interest in National politics. It will all be happening in the counties where decisions will be made every day that will impact very dramatically and quickly on the people’s lives.


You mean like Nigeria? Or even the USA THESE days?

Anonymous said...

first of all my sincere apologies for your recent untimely illness, especially at a time when Kenya was celebrating a once in a life time unrepeatable historical event!nevertheless i am wishing you a speedy recovery bro because the truth is this its about time this blog went hi-tech and by
that i mean Kumekucha should graduate from written media to radio broadcasts(and thereafter TV viewing)

Just imagine a weekly one hour programme broadcast live with some of your usual regular readers and contributors taking their usual sides as they shoot their mouths
first before speaking. TV/Radio does not get better than that

And consider also that nowadays too many radio stations in Kenya are all just about music and little to no talk show programmes of any substance whatsoever.Kumekucha could be the one forum where after a 20 minute "lecture" by the host the show would then open the floor to comments from the listeners/viewers/internet bloggers/former voteless diasporans(now dual citizens)

Imagine Bw.Vikii and Bw.Phil in the same room.can you spell heated debate? Imagine Deroo and Taabu in the same room. can you spell ventilated dispensation? Surely life cannot get better than that

Its amazing how ever since August 4th this country has become more and more like America-in fact many Kenyas i speak to are saying since the referendum when they wake up in the morning they temporarily forget that they are in Kenya anymore!

M. Pesa said...

Check again Kibaki's shiny Rolex watch in that pic Chris posted where he's lifting up the new Katiba (never mind it was broken within seconds when we refused to arrest the mass murderer). Isn't that a Rolex Presidential watch he's wearing that can set you back about 5 million Kenya shillings? Kweli this old fella has a good taste for the fine things in life (never mind the huge pay packet that's untaxed). I bet less than just 7 Kenyans own such a luxurious time piece. The likes of Uhuru, Kulei, Pattni and Gideon. With buddies like Arturs brothers and Sudan's Bashir, all the best gifts come in small packages. I can't wait to become a Guv'nr and stuff all the wads of cash in my pockets. Kwani mta do?

Chris said...

Luka my broda,

Thanx for ur kind words. As a good African the first thing I thought about when I suddenly fell ill were my enemies because I very rarely fall sick. U were obviously NOT on my lists of suspects. (joke)

Ur talk show idea is both humourous and intriging. But as u quite rightly point out with the hi-tech available it may not be as far-fetched as it may seem. More so with the advent of tele-conferencing coz those people u mention are scattered across continents.

Lastly you r so fond of comparing Kenya to the USA these days with all those people supossedly thinking that they are in Stato. Why not coin UCK (United Counties of Kenya).

Anonymous said...

Anon 5:14 AM,

Stop the tribal nonsense! You are talking bulls**t. We do not need you farting your tribal bigotry here. Go fart it elsewhere.

deroo said...


Mambo bomba. Thanx you Luka. But things are changing mate! Have you heard throwing the Cat among the pigeons. Anyway, thanx for that.

Chocolate Bar said...

M-pesa, how do explain Raila antics of driving the latest hummer through Kibera's mad alleways?
How do you explain Raila's massive wealth he ammased in a very short space time while he was a KANU minister - of Energy?

Chris said...

M-Pesa my close friend,

Thanx for being hawk-eyed and ur resultant revealing remark.

I note that you want to seek the governership of some county for the sole purpose of doing a Moi (or a Kenyatta). As the good friend I claim to be I feel inclined to quote my favourite Bible verse to you;

Ecclesiastes 9:11 King James Bible

I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.

I fear that the times to pull such stunts and then kill anybody who raised a voice are over. Your chance has passed my brother. There will be plenty of guys in the county assembly eyeing the gorvernor's seat and keeping a very close eye on the money bag so much so that when you reach for your own pocket and your own money and are too close to the money bag you will be accused of stealing. Besides these kind of rackets thrived on the protection of powerful godfathers close to an all powerful presidency. As you know this situation has now changed.

But worst of all can you imagine what a headline like "Prominent Kumekucha blogger jailed for embezzling county funds" would do to the image of folks like Luka and the pensioner Tabuu?

Mwarang'ethe said...

M.Pesa wrote:

I can't wait to become a Guv'nr and stuff all the wads of cash in my pockets. Kwani mta do?

8/30/10 5:12 AM


Do not worry boss.

You will have very good company of akina Maina the Mathira mp, as we hear here:

"Race for governorship" @

Anonymous said...

The chaps incharge of public celebrations need to do their homework. Cant they get us a better crowd, especially when foreign guests are invited.I watched that ceremony and ended up feeling embarrassed.

King Nebuccadnezar said...

Do you mind and stop quoting the bible please!

That's a very good book meant to guide people into ALL truth. Obviously you are just another bible-bashing nutter who have refused to allow the truth get into you.
"You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free"... that Raila Amolo Odinga is not what Kenya needs. And that's the TRUTH my friend.
Have you forgotten the bible say we should test all spirits?
...And the spirit in this man (Raila) is not right to lead Kenya!

Just as God rejected King Saul to lead Israel, so He will reject Raila to lead Kenya. And just as God raised David from a humble background and anointed him to lead Israel, so He will select a good leader with a good spirit to lead Kenya into a brighter future.

M. Pesa said...


I deplore tasteless display of opulence in every form! It's like "kufeelisha" especially when you show off to starving masses seated outside Hilton with hunger pangs rocking their ribs.


Did you notice how modern youth were restless, in a hurry and not afraid to show it at Uhuru Park last Friday? They were even booing the long prayers being said by the clergy! I wish these leaders read your post about these modern Kenyan youth who don't have much time to waste!

Trust me corruption and theft of public funds will always be with us hata Russia, US and Mongolia haya mambo iko. It will just go 'underground' and become more hi-tech for detection. You can see even PLO Lumumba is dead asleep or just talking too much without any action. Sometimes we Kenyans encourage corruption among our leaders because after their term is over and they don't have much to show, we laugh at them and say.. "Angalia yule fala alikuwa mayor and hana kitu..ako bilaz!" So we scorn and mock.


I was watching K24 interviewing the 3 Makadara contenders, Wathika, hooliganish Ndolo and Nark-K's Mike "Sonko" Mbuvi. This Mbuvi guy has lots of support among the poor and weak in Makadara. He claimed he has been using his own cash to fix bridges, schools, stima, roads and employing hundreds of youths. Mike Munga Mbuvi also promised never to touch a penny from his salary saying it will go directly to the people. And I was like, where does this young fella get all his money and has KRA snooped around him? He clearly stands a good chance of winning. Check his flashy website here:

Anonymous said...

@Anon 6:09 am,havent you heard that on Friday,you could have gone to Kibera and carted away house belongings by the trailer load?Virtually everyone was at Uhuru park..!

Anonymous said...

Chris-Kumekucha,your sickness was due to you ridiculing the Kamba community.So you see their remote control works after all.In your next article,write about witchcraft among the Kambas and promptly take cover lest you are taken out by a bolt of lightning with the sun shining bright..!Ha ha ha ha....!

Anonymous said...


As a regular reader of this blog since 2005, I'm not sure whether the good old days when most of your posts had 0 comments were better than the current negative & tribalistic commentary from a significant portion of your flock that's become the norm. At least back then we could be informed & ponder your analysis without being concerned about the state of the mindset of your readership, aka mwananchi.

Obviously a significant number of commentators seem to have learned nothing from PEV. Chris you need to start exercising your power to delete those who contravene your "common decency" clause unless common decency isn't so common in Kenya anymore.


R-r-r-r-roger That! said...

Breaking News.....Central Kenya has the highest HIV prevalence rate and the lowest birth rate in the country too.

I guess with the men becoming impotent from illicit brews, women becoming whores because there men cant 'perform'....voila HIV!

Plus Mungiki busy beheading and taxing there fellow kinsmen what do you expect.
Watu wanago! Bwa ha ha ha

Anonymous said...

@King Nebuchadwhatever!...

As it is written: "There is none righteous, no, not one".- Romans 3:10

So people like Kalonzo who pretend to be righteous but who is ready to sell his soul to the devil to lead Kenya, will not see the house on the hill. Watched over atrocities of his Akamba nation and His political opponents of Mwingi who mysteriously died or dissapeared during his days in KANU.

Now King Nebuchadwhatever....if you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten?

Anonymous said...

wololo yayeeee..... ati central leads in HIV? masira!!

Chris said...

Anon @ 2:28 PM.

I hear you.

I miss the old days too, 0 comments and all.


Anonymous said...

Katiba Mpya was promulgated because patriotic Kenyans didn't want anybody or any group of individuals or even certain institutions to sweepy away the liberties of the forthcoming county governments like a deluge.

A government of our own is our natural right: and when a person seriously reflects on the precariousness of human affairs, he will become convinced, that it is infinitely wiser and safer, to form a constitution of our own in a cool deliberate manner, while we have it in our power, than to trust such an interesting event to time and chance.

As for Mzee Mwai Kibaki, he did redeem his image regardless, with help of the citizenry at large, and the iconic picture of him holding Katiba Mpya at the huge Uhuru Park gathering will be remembered for decades to come.

Suffice to say, Kenyans did indeed forge a new and constructive path for their nation and future generations.

That's one of the many reasons why I am sure there will be millions of grateful Kenyans, in August 27, 2050, who will look back and reflect on the positive effects of August 27, 2010, in th same way some of us mortals look at Kenya was transformed December 12, 1963.


The more things change the more they remain the same and it is for that very reason that county governments will be required to upgrade or reconstruct new penitentiaries around the whole country.

In order to protect the county funds and law abiding residents from any hyenas in positions of leadership as well as cartels of wiseguys in the county assemblies who will be salivating for coffers of county funds.

Anybody caught embezzling county funds should get a minimum of five years and be required to forfeit any property they may have in the respective county as a warning and lesson to prospective political hyenas, double-dipping crocodilians,or financial reptilian-wiseguys.

County TVs, newspapers, radio stations and magazines have a lot on their hands when the time comes, and the juicy political and financial scandals will present itself on numerous occassions.

FYI, Swahili is now one of the two official languages of the land, yaani, 2nd Republic.

Kwa hivyo: Balaa huja ghafla.
... 9:11 "Tena, nimeona kitu kimoja hapa duniani, kwamba wenye mbio hawafaulu katika riadha, wala wenye busara hawapati chakula, wenye akili hawatajiriki, wala wenye ujuzi hawapandi vyeo: lakini wakati wa bahati huwapata wote pamoja. Mtu hajui saa yake itafika lini.

Anonymous said...

I for one find it difficult to believe that the entire crowd at Uhuru park was either from one community or from one locale. If indeed all those people were from kibera as some have stated then Raila is a serious mobilizer. On the bright side at least Kalonzo wasn't heckled much for a change.

The question Kibaki & co should be asking themselves is what is it that they are lacking in order to energize a crowd to the same extent. RAO seems to resonate with the common man more than any other politician on the ground. The cult of personality is alive & well in the second republic.


Anonymous said...

Keep on deleting what you dont like. we saw it.

I always wonder why people like hearing negative things about others, but will not discuss negative things about themselves. So that you can feel important and superior?

Anonymous said...

The crowd was definitely from one very civilised tribe. Evidence? look at their faces.

M. Pesa said...

Some people can opt to post as anonymous but it can't help since their writings are very distinct and unique like a fingerprint. They include Chris Kumekucha- remember when he disguised himself/herself/itself as "Oscar" and was rumbled out by many members of this esteemed blog? He quickly had to kill off that character to a point of almost apologizing. Another one is TAABU aka Taabu Tele. Taabu loves to castigate Mwarangethe, Phils Mistress etc posing as anonymous but he/she/it instantly becomes a straight give away. Taaabu def has the most unique way of writing that you can tell it from miles away. Vikii is another one who loves popping up with any slight mention of Kalooser or his beloved Kaos. And something tells me the anon above at 8:38 PM and I'm 99% certain..

Is definitely PLO Lumumba.

By the way, whatever happened to one Kwale who used to blog from UK?

Anonymous said...

Anon 12.15 a.m. Do accept reality that Raila actually resonates with the common man..that's why he plays in a different league....

Does it mean that other Kenyans did not see it fit to join on this day and celebrate. Raila's charisma is too much for the likes of Kalonzo who read his speech in a blitz pace....afraid of what happened to the clergy perharps.

I can only assume that you come from the tribe that is always jealous and full of kinsmen who are only coming to reality that in 2012 there grip on power will be gone.

Anonymous said...

@ M-pesa so you want to tell us that you ain't anonymous...PLEASE SPARE US!

M-pesa and anon are one and the same thing!

So sambaza hiyo ujinga yako mbali sana... Potelea pote!

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Those fellows who are telling us daily that raila will be the president in 2012 and insulting those who think otherwise are not doing their sickly octogenarian candidate any favours.
This katiba requires 51% votes not a simple majority and raila's chances are getting slimmer by the day if his supporters think that insulting and heckling his opponents will make his candidature strong.

Let us use real arithmetics;
Luo - check
Luhya - 50%
Kalenjins - NO
Okuyus - NO
Kambas, Meru's etc - NO
NE - insignificant numbers
COAST - NO (balala commands clout)
Nairobi - NO..maybe Kibera

Show me raila's winning formula!!
Luo votes will not take him to state house. Never say you were not warned.

Anonymous said...

@ anon 12:15. Either you recorded the entire promulgation proceedings then studied the crowd later using facial recognition software or your tribal radar runs on over drive. All I saw was an energized crowd, especially when RAO was addressing the nation.

@ those celebrating CP's newfound status as HIV leader, seems to me the argument that all resources head to CP may be questionable. Nyeri did exceptionally poorly according to the NATION.

Census proceedings @ JKIA on live. I suppose we should brace ourselves for more myopic chest thumping from tribalists amongst us once the ethnic numbers (votes) are revealed.


Anonymous said...

Kikuyu's are 7 million while luhya comes a distance second with 5 million guys. Jaluo's are 4 million, same as Kambas.
Kalenjins are 5 million.
Raila should be very very afraid!!!

Kalonzo + Ruto + Uhuru = Over 10 million registered voters out of 14 million...bwa ha ha haaaaa

Anonymous said...

Anon 1.36 a.m Raila's winning formula.....

Nairobi - 65% yes
Central - we don't give a hoot NO! Even if it's 0% men there have become impotent, HIV is finishing brethren, drunkeness is an epidemic and Mungiki is doing an excellent job in keeping the numbers down
Rift Valley - 45% wait and see what kind of realignments will shape up here before 2012, Ruto still cant decide who becomes MP or Governor. Ebu ask akina Joshua Kutuny and Isaac Ruto were they were wining and dining in during the last days of the referendum
Eastern - 30%
Nyanza - 90%
Western - 75% - Only the Bukusu community will vote against agwambo. So get your arithmetic right bwana when it comes to western.
Coast - 65% Balala has no clout in Coastal politics. Go check which families command clout - T.S.S, Bayusuf and Sajjad all Billionaires! So don't speak about what you dont know

North Eastern - 85% they are Kenyans and there numbers count.

Anonymous said...

Anon 3.07 a.m Last time we were informed in the just concluded voter registration, that Rift valley had the highest number of registered voters around 2.4 M, Central around 1.7 M, Eastern had around 1.4 M

So Ruto 2.4M + Uhuru 1.7M + Kalonzo 1.4M= 5.5M out of 12M registered voters.

KKK will not materialize bwana, I guarantee you, watch and learn Kenyan Politics.

Sorry for spoiling your party.

So please check again with FACTS! Bwa ha ha haaaaaaa

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