ODM-K should be careful on the use of 'majimbo'

One of ODM-K emerging policy is that of Majimboism i.e. federal government. Over the new year's various ODM-K campaigns, this is a keyword that has been featuring prominently.

It is apparent that one of the key issues that ODM-K wants to address in Kenya is that of un-equitable distribution of national wealth. This is an issue that has never been addressed adequately since Kenya gained independence in 1963. William Ruto's manifesto has prominently captured this as a key issue that his presidency will address. Kenya's wealth is deemed to be concentrated amongst few individuals and unevenly distributed to favour certain regions. No government has managed to address this adequately including the Kibaki administration despite its efforts with the Constituency Development Fund.

The Bomas Constitution draft addressed this issue mainly by advocating for devolution of the central government. This was agreeable by most delegates other than those who felt the proposed structure will be too expensive to administer. Not many Kenyans would think of the devolved government in terms of the emotions that Majimbo word invokes. As much as ODM-K advocates for majimbo government which in turn implies the proposed devolution proposed by Bomas, the use of the word majimbo may undo the well meaning strategy.

Majimbo to most Kenyans means upholstering tribalism and ethnicity reminiscent of the Majimbo calls by coast politician Shariff Nassir, now deceased that also contributed to ethnic tensions in Likoni and other coastal areas. It will imply federal divisions along tribal lines that would promote ethnic tensions as one ethnic bloc attains freedom from dominant groups in their regions who will have to be sent back to their federal ethnic regions. Federal regions which have resources or facilities needed by other regions will consider the new system as payback time and access to said resources will be a hard task.

Many Kenyan voters may not be patient to split hairs on what is devolution that is not majimbo. Devolution of government proposals has been a herald of good things to many Kenyans, but how will they treat the use of the term 'serikali ya majimbo'?

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2 Responses to ODM-K should be careful on the use of 'majimbo'

east african said...

odm just wants to increase tribalism

akiey said...

I strongly believe that Majimbo, federalism etc in whatever form is the right remedy for Kenya's unfair division (if any at all) of natural & human resources.