By Nicholas Olambo
Kenya prides herself of having one of the most progressive constitutions in the world. Promulgated in August 2010 under the grand coalition government, new laws created a governance model that takes services closest to the people, at the grass root level. By so doing it also created the county governments led by governors. The laws further stipulates which services are devolved to the county level as health, and the ones that remain the core responsibilities of the national government, say security and education among others.
This is one of the best things and major strides this country has made since attaining self-rule in 1963. The people though, have not really benefited or felt the good that ought to have come with this new module of leadership. Most of the county executives still fail to meet the management responsibilities that is clear in their job descriptions. Majority of Kenyans still don’t enjoy the fruits of the new law. County governments have been rocked with rampant corruption and wastage of public funds.
Most of the governors and in collusion with the Members of County Assemblies take their terms as opportunities to make money and milk the public coffers dry. Numerous and useless trips are scheduled for the MCAs to pocket cash, national assembly is wasting as much and the role of senators and women representatives have never been felt. From governors, senators and to MCAs, get their salaries, allowances and their trip allowances in time. Ordinary workers have their rights to employment abused every end month, after thirty days of donkey work.
County workers must be accustomed to brokenness. They have to do with no or delayed salaries every now and then and theyare still expected to perform amid stress and frustrations of not meeting their basic necessities in time. Like a norm in many counties, workers have to do with delayed house rents, struggle to get to work and pay school fees but the law makers they serve don’t see this as a problem to fix. Instead, they rant 24/7 when they miss out on trips or collude to push laws that increase their pay perks.
It is very alarming and embarrassing to always see county workers take on the streets over work without pay. They get threatened with letters of dismissal or they are given raw deals that are never met. When will we ever get this right as a country and make county governments admirable employers that our youths can look up to? It’s no secret, it’s in the public domain now that working for the county government is as good as a time wasting event.
Governors are always demanding more cash from the national treasury and the much they are given is wasted on trips as more end up in the pockets of county chiefs. Many governors and former governors are in court facing corruption and abuse of office cases or to answer to audit querries. MCAs and Women reps still don’t understand their roles aside from heckling in funerals, boot licking party chiefs and taking ‘selfies’ in foreign trips.
Workers downing tool is the saddest thing in our society. If trips by unschooled fellows and their mistresses and groupies equal money, what about a professionals time? People who ensure that county services get to the people when senior officials are partying and rocking bikinis abroad must be treated with dignity.
Many county workers who have to endure the stress brought by this disrespect now have to spend their time in the streets protesting when their leaders are either out ‘tripping’ or just around but paying no attention. Ignoring important county workers as important as nurses only mean that we are a society with its priorities backward. It also points that we have rogues in leadership positions. A serious society does not do that.
If it were any possible that politicians would campaign in hospitals like they do in churches and funerals, our nurses and other county workers would be treated with admirable respect. Quality of the work done by governors and MCAs should not reflected on the houses they build after looting and ‘tripping’ or cars they buy but the smooth provision of services to the people and respect for the rights of county workers who always stand alone when protesting over delayed or no pay. Downing tools is now a norm that no leader cares to address.