Phew! It has been three months since I was sworn in as President, sorry, Governor of my county. To say that it has been a walk in the park would be to tell an outright lie. It has been hell. Hell on earth. I have looked the devil in the eye more times than I care to remember in the last 90 days and he often makes me ask myself why the heck I chose to run for this office. Oh, I remember. It’s because I am the President, sorry, Governor of MY county. The problem is that there are too many buffoons out there who are seized of matters that should not be of their concern regarding MY office. In fact, writing this diary is very cathartic and it helps me to say what I really would like to say to everyone but I am constrained from doing as it may be career limiting. These are my top five irritants so far:
1. It’s Evolution not Devolution!
The new constitution envisages that power will now emanate from the bowels of this beautiful country and not from the wolfish, self-centered, self-absorbed, horrendously bureaucratic central government. A new system of county governments is required to evolve with immediate effect. The dictionary defines to evolve as: “To develop gradually, from a simple to a more complex form.” Yes, this is my role, to gradually develop MY government from a simple paper pusher to a more complex, well-defined centre of power that drives the entire economic engine of MY County. (I’m getting giddy with excitement as I write this, let me pause and take a sip of something strong.) Maybe I should rename the County Headquarters as “Evolution Centre”. Hmmm, that has a nice ring to it.
2. It’s the wrapping not trappings!
Look. I am the President, sorry, Governor of my county. I don’t know what all the brouhaha is about regarding my request to fly the flag on my car or to have a diplomatic passport or to have a Governor’s mansion. The media and all those civil society meddlers say that I am getting carried away with the trappings of power. Puh-leeze! Since when did you see a gift that was not wrapped? I am a gift to the people of this county, as I will apply my God given intellect to improving their welfare! A four wheel drive car, a mansion to entertain potential investors and other VIPs, a diplomatic passport to visit all ends of this earth and a flag to signify the importance of the person overlapping traffic and parking wherever I want is simply the wrapping around the magnificent gift of the Governor. Ala!
3. I can fidget with my budget!
I went to school, so I can read. And I have read Section 174 of the constitution which clearly states that amongst the objects of the devolution of government are subsection (g) to ensure equitable sharing of national and local resources throughout Kenya. How better can I ensure that our share of the national cake is shared equitably than through my county budget? If I want to set an entertainment budget of Kshs 53 million, I can! After all, it will be shared with the local hotels, bars and entertainment spots thus ensuring that the employees of those institutions continue to get gainful employment from my patronage of their services. Allocating millions to the acquisition of cars for county executives will ensure that the local petrol station owners and local tyre dealers will see greater sales which add to the bottom line, and continue employing local people who will essentially be getting a share of the county resources. Right? If the media that keeps complaining can’t see that then they need to get stronger eyeglasses or move to my county and open petrol stations. As for the meddling Controller of Budget, she needs to understand the Constitution’s S. 174 (d) which clearly states that one of the objects of devolution is to recognize the right of communities to manage their own affairs. I am perfectly capable of managing my own affairs without someone breathing down my neck.
4. Hire or face the fire
Seriously, these Transitional Authority chaps have got to be kidding me. How in heaven’s name am I supposed to “absorb” employees of the central government who will lose their jobs when functions are devolved to the counties? I am not a sponge! I owe so many favors to so many people who worked on and financed my campaign that I need to find jobs for their innumerable relatives. My county offices need accountants, clerks, secretaries, administrators etcetera etcetera and I already know who is going to get what. The last thing I need is to be told that my wage bill is to high to sustain so cuts are needed on my entertainment or fuel allowance. I need to get these people in quickly to the offices so that I can tell those Transitional Authority chaps, with as straight a face as I can muster, that sorry: my house is full.
5. Kusema na Ku-tender
I have only 4 years and 9 months to get cracking on this job. I’ve managed to keep my senator happy with the promise of a few tenders to supply office stationery for his wife’s business. If I keep him happy, then he will keep fighting for a bigger say in the affairs of county budgetary allocations. The bigger the county allocation we get, the more room there is for purchasing goods and services. Then I will really be kingpin around these sides as businessmen trip over themselves to become key suppliers, which is why I need a large mansion and entertainment budget to entertain these “investors”. Actually come to think of it, building a mansion has quite a number of tenders associated with it, right? Which is what my campaign promise was all about, “Kusema na Ku-tender, sorry, Kutenda!