ODM is pushing for Majimbo, PNU is rejecting Majimbo and ODM-K is halfway Majimbo they call it economic federalism. Important to note that ODM is pushing for social democracy while PNU is purely capitalistic with government having philanthropic tendencies towards the people who pay taxes. All want to achieve equitable distribution of national ugali with PNU being the most reluctant competitor on this one.
The idea of majimbo basically is devolution of power. Make the central government give over half of the national resources to each jimbo/region. Make people in the grassroot to be in charge of how they want to use the resources from central government. Make people in the grass to decide how to use resources within their yard. Make these people elect the people they want to govern over them in their region, not the imposed provincial administration. This understanding not withstanding many have not yet grasped the wonderful idea of Majimbo.
To the Coasterian whose Mzee Shariff Nassir brought up this issue in the 90's, its cessation of domination by the watu wa bara who have taken their shambas, their Mombasa ports jobs and revenue that is taken to Nairobi to be dished out instead of been used to develop Mombasa and its environs and locals. They will be the greatest beneficiary because over 70% of the coast population live as squatters, a huge percentage is jobless while the tourist business booms and ports mints billions per week. They also have special interests in the dominant religion in the jimbo and may want to assert more say on the day to day disputes between two muslims. This region will be the greatest beneficiary of a majimbo system. It will be a chance to correct the historical injustices of land issues and poverty eradication. Each region will have the freedom of elevating their sons and daughters to kingly positions and be satisfied with the trappings of power.
It is on the same basis that PNU campaigners are talking of chaos in Kenya if Majimbo is to be adopted. That people will be forced to move to their ethnically correct jimbo if the system is adopted. But Ruto a pentagon member of ODM says that nothing can stop an idea whose time has come. It seems Majimbo having been on Kenya's glossary since the hey day of the Bomas of Kenya constitution suggests that Kenyans are more likely to accept this system than ever before. That the central government system has not worked since 1963 is a good case of adopting Majimbo. After all people has seen the advantage of resources at the grassroots with a 2.5% of national budget being channelled to the roots using the Constituency Development Fund. What about a 40% rise in such an allocation through the jimbo.
To be ironed out on the majimbo debate will be:
- Cost of political and legislative structures of implementing new regions if not based on provincial administration. Another election to elect the regional representatives.
- Subjection of the Bomas draft to a referendum as is. What about the contentious issues? What will happen if the Bomas draft is rejected, no majimbo?
- Structures based on current provincial administration. Will the provincial administration be scrapped? Will the provincial administrators be elected other than appointed?
- Structures based on civic representatives. Elevate the councillors to be regional leaders, with area MP as governor or a mayors to have more powers. Legal structures to provision this will be required.
- How will resources be earned by regions. Collect taxes within your region, retain 60%, forward 40% to central government. Regions with less resources may result to hut taxes to meet their obligations.Or the central government will have to favour regions without a good tax base leading to inequitable distribution. Or Central government collecting all taxes and then dishing out equal portions to each region.
- What about cross-regionalborder trade? E.g. transporting cargo from Mombasa port to Busia. Coast region imposes a huge tax on non-local goods, transit taxes through toll stations as the cargo passes Eastern Region, Nairobi Region, Central Region, Rift Valley Region and finally Custom and Excise on Western border. or will regions come together in a COMESA or EAC like trade bloc in order to control cost of production within the country?
- What will be the power of central government over the regional governments. If a regional government imposes punitive regulations on its people or incoming people from other regions, to what extent will the regional government intervene? Will such intervention mean that the regional government will not be autonomous?
- Or Kenya just use the semi-devolved structure of CDF and increase allocation from 2.5% of the budget to 40%? Will this be called majimbo?