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Governor Dr. Alfred Mutua the Devolution Developer

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Governor Mutua stands next to Police Patrol cars with Machakos police officers. Governor Mutua stands next to Police Patrol cars with Machakos police officers.

Kenya Elections March 2013 led to the full creation of 47 devolved counties through the elected 47 Governors and County Assemblies. Like many Kenyans I would cross my figures waiting to see what culture the Governors bring to their respective new offices. Was a Governor going to be a “Servant of the People” or “Master to the People?” Governor Dr. Alfred Mutua choice to become a servant of the people is today one factor developing and advancing devolution in Kenya. As the saying goes, “Actions speak louder than words!”

Developing devolution in counties was not going to be easy. The biggest fear; no Governor is able to develop devolution inside their county, and the Senate is unable to prevent a repeat of 1963 if devolution didn't work. For devolution to survive Kenya citizens had to see it work in at least one county. Rooting for Devolution success I wrote two questions: Is there a Governor who can develop and make devolution work in County? Second question: Is there a Senator who can make devolution work through Senate legislations?   

The start seemed to appear as though devolution would be lost to unsustainable budgets; but, when Governor Dr. Alfred Mutua explained how he used the money awarded for his car purchase, that day I could not stop smiling. Having combined 88,000 words to create a book, I have yet to publish, that bears the title, “Victor of Marathon”; I instantly knew that Governor Mutua could indeed be the victor of devolution on the county level.   

Any constitutional scholar biggest fear after a new constitution is enacted is whether the new document will achieve power, bring a new culture and will be interpreted correctly. When the Senate did not come out and establish the interpretation of Constitution Article 110 (1) that reads, “In this Constitution, “a Bill concerning county government” means–– (a) a Bill containing provisions affecting the functions and powers of the county governments set out in the Fourth Schedule,” the chance of devolution sustenance through the Senate was vulnerable. So many bills that fundamentally affect the functions and powers of county governments were not going to the senate before becoming laws.         

As we approach the one year anniversary of county government’s operational creation, it is worthy to reflect on the achievements. Kenyans today can thank Governor Dr. Alfred Mutua and other Governors who have made bold moves in advancement and development of devolution through becoming servants of the people and enacting responsible budgets. The 120 police cars and many other choices were good choices to spend the Machakos people’s money and Kenyans money. The returns will be immense as entrepreneurs move resources to the county based on a secure environment. Indeed, Governor Dr. Mutua deserves the title, “Governor,” for not choosing to budget the people’s money for his personal needs, like: a big Governors Mansion, or an expensive car, or several cars for his security detail, or expensive numerous trips abroad as he defined the title, “Governor.”  

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