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Archive for October 19th, 2007

Kenya and majimboism?

Posted by African Press International on October 19, 2007

Author : Living in Kenya

Commentary by Robert Macharia:
Majimbo is extremely shaky ground as far as I’m concerned. The disparities in regions is way too huge to even consider the merits of such a proposal. If you look at the US, for example, every state brings something to the table. In our case, some regions would be net importers for all intents and purposes. North Eastern would become more marginalised than it has ever been, Nyanza would be reliant on the Rift and Central for food, etc.

It may well be that each region has some hidden resource (oil in NEP, gold in western and commercial fishing in Nyanza) but the neglect by successive governments and in some cases the laxity of the local people combine to make it extremely difficult to exploit these resources in the short-medium term.

The result will be that regions that have established revenue sources (Central and Rift – Agriculture, Coast – Port) will hold economic sway over the rest of the country. I would not be surprised if this leads to vilification (… wanatunyanyasa kwa sababu …) of these regions in the future.

You might say that the Central government will even out discrepancies, but my main concern is: what formula will be used in distributing resource???? Quota system? Probably this is what everyone is feferring to when they talk about the national cake … the ruling elite will most likely skew resource to their local regions to bolster local political support!

The solution is to fix the ails of the current system. It is possible to have development across the board and CDF is a good (if not perfect) start to this. Refine this process, build in accountability and let it work!

Keeping in mind that we are still a 3RD WORLD ECONOMY I firmly believe that Kenya is not in a place where we can afford to experiment with the economy.

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