PNU is rubbishing Majimbo as not being one way of distributing power and resources to the people equitably.whats your take?

62 Responses to THE MAJIMBO DEBATE

  1. By Prof Anyang Nyongo

    THE DEBATE ON WHETHER or not a majimbo (federal) system of government is suitable for Kenya is good for the country. The struggle for independence was about annihilating all forms of discrimination and disenfranchisement that were the hallmarks of colonial rule across Africa.

    The founding fathers of this nation fought for an equitable and just society in which all individuals and groups of citizens could lead a decent life and bequeath prosperity to the successor generations. The question is how to achieve this within various structures and institutions for socio-political and economic organisation of our people.

    There are those who argue that majimboism had been tried in 1963, it failed, and must be forgotten. But many political thinkers and legal experts concede that the 1963 majimbo experiment was a hastily conceived, clumsily crafted and badly presented variant of federalism.

    In any case, the powerful presidency of the time (as it is today) was never enthusiastic about the idea. Asked whether the Kanu government would honour the independence majimbo constitution at a speech he gave at the Alliance High School, Mwai Kibaki, then Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Economic Planning and Development said categorically: “We shall break it!”

    ODM HOLDS THAT MAJIMBO IS about taking resources and power to the people organised in various sub-national jurisdictions of public affairs management.

    The Bomas Draft Constitution carefully worked out these jurisdictions in terms of regions. It is the reason we have consistently used the term interchangeably with an easily comprehensible one — devolution.

    We don’t think that the natural consequence of this is ethnic animosity and/or tribal clashes or the expulsion of people from certain parts of the country.

    Devolution can only be implemented alongside other laws that protect the rights and freedoms of citizens, including their right to live in any part of this country, whether or not those places are their ancestral homes.

    Under a devolved system of government, resources are distributed equitably regionally and not on the basis of tribes or ethnic identities.

    Kenyans have lived together in peace ever since we attained political independence. Tribal clashes and ethnic cleansing in this country have been orchestrated and financed by politicians who believed in a highly centralised presidential system to address their own fears.

    Given a free choice, Kenyans will advance ethnic co-operation rather than exclusion and the devolution of power and resources will not necessarily lead to the emergence of ‘‘tribal states’’ in Kenya.

    Some people have even expressed fears that Kenya could experience the kind of ethnic animosity that led to the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. Such simplistic and alarmist arguments do not help.

    Rwanda was under a central governance system at the time of the genocide. Indeed, the grievances of the warring sides revolved around the exercise of the centralised power under a presidential authoritarian regime.

    Another criticism of the idea is that regions ‘‘without any resources’’ will suffer marginalisation and economic decline. We do not have any such thing as ‘‘resourceless regions’’. Every part of Kenya has a distinct potential for productivity. In fact, a number of the so-called marginalised areas are actually sitting on gold, in some cases, literally.

    It must not be misunderstood that a devolved system leaves no space for the central administration of socio-political and economic affairs of the nation. No. The distribution of the centrally controlled resources will be based on a formula that takes into account the particular needs of the various regions.

    Is devolution/majimboism expensive? Properly done, it is actually cheaper and more developmental than the waste-prone presidential system.

    At the moment, we have ministries based in Nairobi with provincial, district, divisional and even locational and sub-locational arms. We are certain that giving semi-autonomous status to the regional units will cut the cost of managing public affairs to levels much lower than the current.

    Granted, there are sticking points that we need to think through together as a nation in our preparations towards a majimbo system. For instance, the uniformity of policy on issues such as marriages, divorce and liquor across the regional units given the diversity of cultures among our people.

    More thinking needs to be directed to the resolution of matters such as these rather than empty opposition to an idea whose time has come.

    AN IMPORTANT ASPECT OF THE debate around majimboism in as far as economic and socio-political policy is concerned, is the competition among different policy approaches.

    In a centralised system, there is very little scope for competitive experiments in policy. Under majimbo, regional units acting within the same macro-spectrum could experiment with different sets of development policies. The more progressive units could, in principle, become role models for the others.

    With clear roles and responsibilities for every level of government, an elaborate mechanism for resolution of conflicts between and among the levels of government, and a leadership truly committed to the political and economic empowerment of the people, majimbo promises peace and prosperity in a just and equitable society.

    Prof Nyong’o is the secretary-general, Orange Democratic Movement (ODM)

    Article coutersy of nation media group website

  2. Phil says:

    Professor, I heartily congratulate you for the way you handled ODM-K’s Mutula Kilonzo and PNU’s Amos Kimunya at last nights AGENDA07 on KTN. I only wish KTN would replay this debate say on a sunday afternoon when most people are inclined to be at home. I give you a score of 10 out of 10 for the high level of intelligence you displayed at that debate. If this country had ten Nyongo’s we could surely be at par with the Asian tigers.

    The parliamentary system of government is widely misunderstood by kenyans. As I said in my previous comments, I think the ODM needs to extensively run a public education campaign not just on the subject of majimbo, but other issues like corruption, infrastructure and job creation. I believe these are the issues the voter mwananchi wants on the agenda.

    Perhaps most people cannot remember why they voted NO or what the Bomas Constitutional Conference was all about. What is the ODm doing to enlighten young voters about the history and status of constitutional reform in Kenya? Absolutely nothing! And I am even more disappointed that the opinion poll result appears to have made ODM top brass complacent. Please maintain public appearance by placing those gloss adverts in the press. Treat voter registration issues with the seriousness they deserve.

    Please do us all a favour and use all resources available to ODM to woo Patrick L.O. Lumumba to our side as I believe he will be key in the constitutional battle that is sure to follow the inauguration of Raila Odinga as the 4th president of Kenya. You article above is well said, but how many rural folk understand that English or manage to get to read the Daily Nation or watch KTN? How will they get your message?

    Thank you and congrats Prof. Nyongo.

  3. McJairo says:

    Let truth be said no matter how bitter it may be. I totally support Majimbo in whatever worst form some will hate it in. Centralization has not worked. It is the locals that know what needs to be fixed in their area. Those advocating against Majimbo have everything to lose for they have used centralized system to grab Jobs, Wealth and positions. Go to the coast, West, North Eastern etc, you will only find people from a certain community dominating Jobs, Business etc. They collect all the money and repartriate to their homes. Leaving the locals poor and Jobless. Yet working in their areas is a nightmare. You can not do Business in central if you are not from certain community. They will Rob and Kill you. If not no one buys from your shop. Resettlement schemes are for the people from that community, who have been disinherited by their Kins. These kins then grab land in other areas to settle their kith.
    We can go on and on enumerating variouse ills of centralized government.
    It is simple, let each regeion manage their affairs and resources. Let us employ people from our regeions to work in our areas. Let the central government tell us what quota of the civil service is reserved for which community. Then we will get people from our areas qualified for those jobs. Other than going to the Coast and insulting them that they are not schooled to be employed.
    I support discriminative, worst form of, MAJIMBO that people fear
    In that ragard I believe the form of Majimbo advocated by ODM is too mild for me. Though in the event of no option I will take it as a starting point. We can finetune other areas later on.
    As for poor regeions! I believe no regeon is poor. They just need to be empowered and necessity will lead to inventions and discoveries. Tell me which resources, Natural, Japan has. They just understood their needs and found away of dealing with it. Look at the countries in the Middle-East! Who tells you that N.E Kenya has no natural resources, Who tell you that Nyanza has no natural resources? Who tell you Eastern is poor? If some regeons are too poor, then why is it that it is the people from the rich regions that form the highest parcentage of migrants in the poor areas? Let us be frank and tell the Kikuyu to either shut-up or keep off.
    Initially the central govt can workout a special assistance program for the identified regeons. Lateron they will settle
    A small question to the anti-majimbo lobbiests! How is the current governance system helping the poor regeons? How do you regard the success of CDF? Is CDF not a pointer to the benefits of Majimbo?

  4. Mark Odendo says:

    I support majimbo too.

    But i have a question that no one wants to hear…how do we allocate resources to the various regions?

    If one region contributes 25% to the national taxes, does it get 25% allocation too? Or does it get less cos other regions need to develop?

    If it gets less, isnt this unfair? is not that the same problem we have today ie unfair allocation of resources?

    my take is that each region gets the same share as it contrbutes to the national taxes. after all, if a region was to depend on others, Tanzania might as well demand we contribute some of our taxes to them since we are both in the East African Community

  5. Baijo M.Lorowu says:

    ODM leaders and supporters should package the messages (devolution, majimbo, corruption, equitable resource distribution, justice, etc) well and articulate to the potential voters. Ignore what detractors (PNU, Kibaki, Mois…na porojo zao) say. Just stick to the popular and consistent message that will resonate well with the masses and the youth.

  6. Nick Mayison says:

    I believe those opposed the the majimbo system doesn’t even know the meaning of it. They are people who are just out against our incoming President, Hon. Raila Amollo Odinga. They are trying to incite wananchi to believe that Majimbo means Central for Kikuyus, Nyanza for Luos, Rift Valley for Kalenjins etc.
    The Pentagon still needs to make it clear to the electorate what devolution means. Otherwise, they are good at bad-mouthing and they can say anything for the electorate to believe that Majimbo is bad.
    PENTAGON: Please be ware that they are buying voters cards from our supporters and giving their supporters more than 1 cards. Strong measures need to be put in place, otherwise, rigging has started.

  7. Maru Kapkatet says:

    There is an urgent need to educate Kenyans, using the mass media, on what Majimboism really means. PNU, Kibaki, and Moi would like to mislead Kenyans into thinking that Majimboism means ethnic groups being repatriated to their native or ancestral homes.

    While this is wrong, there are many Kenyans today who believe that is what majimboism really means. ODM has to go out of her way to educate Kenyans that Majimboism is about distributing resources and employment opportunities to all parts and all ethnic groups of Kenya.

    Majimboism is about letting Kenyans take ownership and full responsibility for the economic development of their regions by managing the planning and day-to-day management of their affairs. Majimboism is about taking the CDF concept further and trully localizing the local authorities.

    Kenya is diverse and while some regions of Kenya are endowed with wealth other regions of Kenya have no resources. People must be educated to realize that the Federal Government who will ultimately be responsible for the overall development of the whole country will come up with an acceptable equalization formula that will ensure that those regions that do not have resources are funded so that they do not lag behind in development.

    The North Eastern Province, for example, may soon turn out to be the richest region in Kenya when drilling for oil and gas starts. The Coast Province is endowed with a lot of wealth and has the port facilities to generate revenue. The Central Province is already well ahead of other regions in development.

    Nairobi Province is the headquarters of the federal government, various major businesses, international agencies, and diplomatic communities. It is already a very wealthy province. Most of Rift Valley is endowed with good agricultural land and can easily take care of the development of drier parts of the Province.

    The same goes for Western and Nyanza provinces. Most of these two provinces have very good agricultural land and the fishing industry can become a major income earner in the two provinces. Most parts of Eastern Province have good agricultural land whose potential can be fully tapped if irrigation is widely used.

    Majimboism is about cutting wastes and eliminating corruption by reducing the number of pest-like middlemen. Take for example, Tea. With Majimboism, there will no longer be KTDA but local Tea authorities. For example, there will be Rift Valley Tea Development Authority which will be responsible for managing the growing, processing, and export of Tea that is grown in Rift Valley within Rift Valley.

    In Nyanza, there will be Nyanza Tea Development Authority which will be responsible for managing the Tea affairs within Nyanza. The same goes for Western, Eastern, and Central Provinces. There will be Central Province Tea Development Authority, Western Province Tea Development Authority, and Eastern Tea Development Authority. The regional Tea authorities will be free to negotiate and cooperate with one another in order to strengthen their processing power and export portfolios.

    It is sad that under the current system, Tea is grown and tended by hard-working farmers in Kericho only to be taken all the way to Thika for processing and export. The local farmers must reap maximum benefits including jobs created by the industry locally.

    Fish farming can be developed throghout Kenya although most of the fishing industry is now carried out mainly around Lake Victoria and the Indina Ocean. With Majimboism, fish from Lake Victoria will be processed and exported within and outside Kenya from Kisumu. It is sad that fish caught in Lake Victoria is now being transported all the way to Thika for processing. This is denying local people full income that they can reap from thius industry.

    The same goes for the Coffee industry, the Pyrethrum, and Horticultural industries. The Federal government will be responsible for finding overseas markets, funding to support and enhance the regionally-managed industries, and for collecting tax. A portion of these taxes goes to the regional authority (maybe 60% as Raila suggests) while the rest (40%) goes to the federal government.

    Once they start Oil and Gas drilling in North Eastern Province, that province will have a regional North Eastern Province Energy Board to manage the drilling, processing , and export of Oil and Gas. Other industries that need to be developed by the local people include growing of wheat and developing of beef industries.

    Some of the Middle Eastern countries such as Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, and Qatar amongst others are pure deserts yet they grow so much Wheat that they have some even for export. If North Eastern Province is allowed to mange its own affairs, it may, in the not-too-distant future be in a position to develop port facilities around Liboi.

    The Kenya Ports Authority will betaken over by the Coast Province Port Authority. This regional authority will take over the management and development of the Mombasa port facilities and collect all revenue accruing from the port with the federal government collecting taxes from the authority.

    Majimboism is about empowering the local people. It is about unlocking the ingenuity of the local people to build Kenya by each building their own province or region. In education, almost 90% of the top secondary schools in Kenya currently are located in Nairobi and Central Provinces. When will there be a school of Alliance High School calibre in North Eastern Province, in Rift Valley Province, in Coast Provinces, and in all other provinces if local people are not empowered through a Majimbo or federal system to mange their own affairs.

    Those fighting against Majimboism (federalism) are the greedy ones who want to see the continued enslavement of the rest of Kenyans. If one looks closely at who these enemies of Majimboism in Kenya really are one will easily find that they are rich exploiters who want to continue enriching themselves and developing their on areas at the expense of other Kenyans.

    The anti-Majimboism crusaders are the greedy exploiters who want to continue mercilessly exploiting hard-working farmers who grow and tend Tea only for the men in suits in Thika to receive it for processing and export.

    Let Kenyans wherever they live ( and every Kenyan has a right to live in any part of Kenya) be empowered to manage their own destiny. The disparity in development in various parts of Kenya can only be corrected by adopting a federal (Majimbo) system of government.

  8. We don’t want cheap politics as per the so called PNU, they are running away from the truth, this people are the same guys who promise us constitution in 100 days, we didn’t see it.Am asking all Kenyans to ignore them since they have let us down, we are getting poorer daily and they are pockets are be coming urged everyday.
    What ODM is selling true and I believe they will do it,Leave the likes of Moi his is just wasting is time, the people of Great Rift Valley let us ask our selfs why Moi is backing Kibaki now and in 2002 he was against him, Mzee has no impact the Rift Valley voter will all go to ODM.
    God bless ODM and it’s leaders.

  9. JAMES NJOROGE says:

    Hi colleagues,

    Change will always come,majimbo is the way to go,Though Im a kikuyu, concentration of wealth on a select wealthy few has costed all common Kenyans alike, lets all wake up,vote Raila in, and this country will never be the same again!!, this man has avision,he cuts across all ethnic lines,most young pple from my community already have made their minds that we shall die with Agwambo, all Kenyans lets get back what wasonce meant for us….we shall overcome…peace

    J Njoroge

  10. tnk says:


    Great article. We all need to be educated and informed on the implementation of Majimbo. I personally believe those opossing, do so on the basis of “losing” control over a consolidated resource base whether administrative or financial. It is the typical attribute of weak leadership in which all resources are centralised thus allowing large room mostly for mischief. And of course centralisation increases the power base and influence of those in charge. Mismanagement of centralised process ripples through the entire system.

    However the debate on whether to centralise or decentralise is continuos and every system will most likely switch from one to another and back over time. The successes of each are largely dependant on the ability of the leadership to perform. Currently our political infrastructure allows for gross mismanagement of centralised admin/fianancial systems and the only true way to break this mold is devolution. leading to no more blaming of the central government or ministers for lack of development.

    However, the possibility of discrimination and political hostage situations arising from Majimbo is real, whether perpetuated by politicians or other colonial hangover, and must be adequately and comprehensively addressed through legislature and education. It is possible that a resource rich region may take undue advantage of another in exchange for favors.

    Moreover, the current imbalance of haves vs have-nots spilling over from is already very skewed regionally and a lot of effort needs to be exerted to level the field so as to make some marginalised or less developed regions able to realise and even recognize their own natural resource base.

    Devolution will enable regions to identify the key resources and allocate funds and commit necessary resources to enhance and sustain productivity. In any case the CDF as I understand it is already a step towards Majimbo and should be considered a milestone in establishing of devolution even if it currently goes by another name. All that Majimbo does is to properly name the process and makes it possible to include all other features necessary.

    Like any other process, this should evolve, and whereas there may be challenges that can easily be misconstrued to be failures, as long as elaborate plans are made both for high impact short term goals and long term objectives, I believe devolution will be beneficial. I insist on long term objectives so that we do not have a system that is highly dependent on current or incoming regime only to become abused by future leaders or even worse dropped with no option for rehabilitation.

    A big blow is when officers such as law enforcement are not educated on the workings of devolution and use this to inhibit free flow of resources across regions (people, funds, etc), thereby creating an instant bottleneck and stumbling block to any gains.

    The key is a published manuscript that details how Majimbo can/will be implemented with provision to allow periodic inputs from the public to improve overall effectiveness. I think Kenyans need to be reminded that no matter how good an idea, as long as it involves a considerable number of people, then inevitably the idea and its subsequent processes must evolve with time. And also there really is no silver bullet or “one size that fits all” i.e one single solution that will solve all problems.

  11. Dr. J. Were Onundu says:

    To the Editor,

    Both ODM and ODM-Kenya have proposed to the people of Kenya a federal system of governance should they get elected. Kibaki´s side has rejected it. Federal system of governance is a political order; the final authority is divided between sub-units and the centre. The idea of federalism is not new to Kenya. Historically, Kenya should have emerged a strong, cohesive country with a good federal system of governance. This was cut short apparently for sake of personal aggrandisement and overdriven with selfish gluttony by our elites in the apex political establishment. The system which we already had in the original constitution was hurriedly scrapped and then became demonised in the name of “Majimbo”. In fact the word majimbo was so negated to suit the personal interest of these individuals whose main aim was to loot the economy of Kenya. They created a slogan full of emptiness: National Unity.
    The first republic led by Jomo Kenyatta became so quixotic about this slogan that they moved the nation to accept only his rule. It was used to strengthen this system lopsidedly for the agenda of a click domination and this is still haunting our nation. The unitary system bred corruption in social, political and economic sector to the detriment of the majority as well.

    Now, is federal system the panacea to the malaise bogging the today Kenya? The answer is a clear NO with a big BUT.
    Federal system or majimbo in Kiswahili in terms governance is the most successful particularly in a multi-ethnic setup like we have. There are very few successful unitary systems and even then they embrace some kind of devolution and they are monarch’s examples being UK, Norway and Sweden. These are also fairly homogenous entities with parliamentary systems and with either Queen or King as their head of state.

    The human nature is very complicated and for this reasons we have rules, constitutions and laws to deter the excesses of the same human nature. There are no angels on earth. Kenya as a nation of 42 or so ethnic groups must embrace a system that care for all ethnic groups. This can only be found as for now in federalism. Unitary system has failed in Kenya terribly and we keep on pretending to protect the interest of a few greedy fellows. The country, it must be said loud and clear does not belong solely to Mr Moi, Mr. Kibaki, Mr. Kilonzo or a Wanjiku alone nor their personal interests therein. It belongs to all kith and kin including one born yesterday for heaven’s sake.
    Kenya will no doubt be better with a federal system and we should simply emulate the successful ones like Canada, USA, Germany, S. Africa, and India. Many newly emerging countries after turmoil, are embracing federalism because there is no better alternative to cement fairness. The system aids fair distribution of the resources and aid the quickest economic growth. Foster peace and increase the opportunities in public decision making. Unitary system in Kenya has failed and perpetuates poverty because the constitution is skewed and is tilted towards an individual who left to distribute the resources of a nation at will and cannot be checked!
    On earth once more gentlemen we have no angels. Period.

    John Were Onundu
    Weigl Str. 15a

    80636 Munich, Germany email:

  12. shaqmaya says:

    My advocacy is that let the ones who know what a federal government is and how it will benefit all Kenyans start explaining that to our brothers and sister living in the rural zones who rarely get access to the mass media plus those living in the urban centers but do not know what majimbo government is all about. We should not leave the burden on pentagon shoulders alone. Out of the 10 people you will talk to, there is a possibility of winning 7 votes thus avoiding the act of voter abstention . Your Nation needs you now, talk, talk and adroitly explain it to the people, lets stop this elitism !!!!!. In Germany Saarland is rated as the poorest state and it gets a yearly financial boost from other states like Baden Wüttenberg, Hessen, Rheinlandpfalz and Bavaria to elivate it to the same level as the rest of Germany.

  13. Hanif V says:

    Regarding the majimbo debate it really baffles me that gentlemen like ex-President Moi are perceived to have so much influence. It is so patently obvious that if mr Moi really had vision for this country and more important had the nation’s interest at heart he would have steered this country to great prosperity and progress during his time as the President. He had all the tools at his disposal. He had access to funds, a country with plentiful natural resources and bourgeoning human resource. He let down this nation and there should be no doubt about it.

    Yet we still have our hearts in our mouths when he speaks. We still wish that he will sway to our side- thinking that his support will add weight to our argument. Why? Do we not have any confidence in ourselves? We have the talents and have proved thus in the private sector. The problem with us is that our culture has been one of subservience and those we have been subservient to have certainly not looked after our interest. They have only looked after theirs.

    Raila is a beacon of hope due to the fact that he seems to have belief in us. He articulates that if the right environment is provided for us then we as individuals and in turn the nation will realise its true potential…What a shame it will be if we under the yoke for another five years.

  14. Eric B says:

    I think Majimbo is quite rightly a system we should adopt. The sooner the better. However if not properly packaged and sold to the electorate then we run the rist of it being shot down. The detractors of such a system will now do anything within their power to side-track the issues and rubbish the Majimbo cause. That we now know.

    Every day I am confronted by people asking what Majimbo is and what its benefits are. I try as much as I can to explain this to them. Someone mentioned in this blog that ODM should run some campaigns on national media (TV and mainstream radio perhaps) explaining in a simple way what Majimbo is. I agree totally. Let us make some funding available for this and begin to demystify Majimbo for the Kenyan people. Doing this on the campaign trail solely simply won’t give ODM the edge. Its about reaching out to as many people as we can with a simple message on Majimbo. We have two months within which we can do this. I suggest we start now!

  15. Eric B says:

    In a nutshell the challenge is to dispell the notion that Majimbo will fuel etnic tension and lead to civil strife in our good country. I beleive we should, can and will rise up to that challenge. If that notion is dispelled we have a strong case. I am sure of that!

  16. lexx says:

    I believe that the issue about majimbo should be made clear to all the people whenever you talk about majimbo people think of it as tribal.i mean we are talking about jimbo not tribes here.the main problem is that our provinces were divided along tribal lines in that when you talk about a province its associated with a particular tribe.i like the way pof has explained it but this has to reach the common wananchi because our opponents are say that all tribe will go back to their provinces.Majimbo is good for this country because each prvince will decide on what they will do with the money they receive and that will change the country.

  17. Sam Kinyanjui says:

    While Majimbo, devolution etc whatever we call it a great idea for redistributing wealth to all kenyan, please remember by virtual that you have even managed to get far enough to get on to this blog means your thinking is probably rather different from that man in the village who see majimbo as kick out every else (read k”kikuyus” in most cases). Majimobo or not is not the question; the question is proper and due process to usher in majimbo, legislation, protection of “non-jimborians” rights etc. Otherwise (despite the wish to pretend that this is just a scarecrow) we have a real potential for ethnic clashes. Anyone who urgues that this is just a “kikuyus” fear can tell me what the youth found training in mulangonipa etc, under some name of coast liberation or something were training for? surely not for a friendly football match against “upcountry people” Many people think that only kikuyu need to worry but remember in likoni a large number of those killed injured or displaced were actually luos. It is not in dismissing this fear that majimbo will succed it is in addressing them that we can build a strong federal kenya. Finally i hope more kikuyus will vote for raila it is the first step in destroying this ethnic animosity….!

  18. Tony Awimbo says:

    Am sat having a breaking in Uni in Leeds, UK somaing for and Architecture exam next week.I wish I was nyumbani and not in this baridi. And am all for the majimbo thing coz if we look at north eastern which is under developed from an architectural point of view with a vision of thru a masterplan with a 20yr duration. This takes into account infrastructure, buildings (commercial, residential, public space and business etc)

    all designs are then done by focusing on ‘Critical regionalism’ which is an approach to architecture that strives to counter the placelessness and lack of meaning in Modern Architecture by using contextual forces to give a sense of place and meaning.

    With such structure the investors come in both local and international. Look at what China is doin why not Kenya. Like professor said in the Debate 07 I watched jana on MarsGroup website,,1681385,00.html

    The talent is there and jamaas in the diaspora want to give back from what we have learnt hukus.

    check this proposal for that carpark opposite kipande house

    Its time for change in everything and make our country gate.ODM mwisho…

  19. tnk says:

    one thing that defies logic about those shouting against majimbo is this.

    they say majimbo will cause all manner social ills.

    and therefore

    they are urging all those voters in their communities (read jimbo) to vote as a block to safeguard their (read jimbo) interests.

    self contradiction or stupidity (upumbavu) at its utmost

  20. ken says:

    I am all for a devolved system of government, given its benefits. However the most contentious issue right now in Kenya is the ridiculous pay that Mps take home. When you tell people that they will have regional governments, please take time to talk about their structure. The South African constitution stipulates that the regional legislatures will have between 3 and 10 legislatures. If ODM can show Kenyans that they will ensure small government with devolved structures, then ODM can reach a wider audience and do away with jitters that are associated with big government. Finally People are talking about the positions to be created, i.e president, 2 deputy presidents, prime minister and 2 deputy ministers. This structure to me is overkill, a more ideal situation will see the position of president and one deputy president, prime minister and one deputy prime minister, the members of cabinet should not come from parliament but rather be picked from outside parliament. Their nomination should however be vetted by parliament.

  21. ODM says:

    Majimbo is an idea who time has come ,PNU and its members should stop using sleezy propangada to try and say that it will divide kenyans, instead Federalism will ensure that resources are shared among kenyans. We have been using a system of Goverment that has Not been working eceptionally well, why not try federalism which is used in other economised countries such as Canada, Britain, USA to name a few.

  22. Dr. Barack Abonyo says:

    What is Majimbo? Is it devolution, federalism, balconization, zoning etc. The issue here is not really what Majimbo is and whether it will be great for Kenya but is how the voter understands it. The voters are the rural folk not the elite. The way Majimboism was sold initially to the public will be a real mountain that the ODM must be willing to climb. I remember the day Shariff Nassir talked about Majimbo in Mombasa, people’s (watu wa bara) houses were torched in an attempt to send them back to their regions. This and other happenings still linger not in isolation but are hanging on the majimbo term. To a common man a term is very crucial and linking that term with success in life cultivates good perception and confidence. The ODM therefore should use an alternative term or add another term to majimboism. ODM must remember at the end of the day it is all about winning this election. Since the term majimboism is tainted, stating that there will be creation of independent regional states governed by an overal central government might help this statement and this should be accompanied by examples especially America.
    ODM must also state how the leadership in these zones will be elected and if everyone will be able to work anywhere in the republic like United states. In simple terms, ODM after choosing to compaign on the Majimbo platform must be ready to do a thorough expalining especially in the rural areas. It is absolutely necessary. The fire was started you must keep it burning just dont let it burn your house.
    Barack Abonyo

  23. Leonard says:

    In my opinion, Mr. Odinga’s competitors will demonise majimboism to an extent that will cost our candidate lots of votes. The wisest decision is to shelve this debate until after the election. The explanation for this action would be that it is a debate that is too emotive to be carried out during an electioneering period.

    Good Luck to you Mr. Odinga.

  24. Churchil Audi says:

    Majimbo is one of the many ways

    Devolution of power could be looked at in different facets; the UK context of is where the local councils have the mandate of revenue collection as well as using it efficiently, affectively under strict scrutiny. The country is divided into demographic areas called Counties/authority, which translates into either non-unitary authority or unitary authorities. The unitary authorities combines both responsibilities of county council’s and district council, mainly in large urban areas like London, Bristol Manchester, Birmingham etc, non unitary authority on the other hand have the local district councils maintaining their identities and roles.

    The revenue is collected at district, Borough council and City council level, which is further, remitted to the County (most of them are the Shires). Whilst the Shires have wider role, the district councils are responsible for provision of affordable housing (social housing), garbage collection and maintaining a clean and safe environment. They work together and inform each other through Local Strategic Partnership and have various strategies to inform on how policies affect the local communities i.e. they have what is known as Local Area Agreement (LAA)

    A cabinet drawn from elected councillors amongst whom a chairman is elected annually to run the affairs of the council runs the county council, the cabinet portfolio areas are
    1. Learning disabilities
    2. Environment
    3. Resources
    4. Environment & Community
    5. Community and Adult Care services
    6. Schools
    7. Community Safety, Planning & Economy
    8. Children and Young people

    The portfolio holders just like our cabinet meet monthly with responsibilities to: –
    · Set budget and capital program
    · Decide policies, objectives and priorities & approve any changes in the constitution
    · Appoint cabinet, scrutiny commission and all main bodies
    · Receive reports from cabinet & scrutiny body
    · Answer questions from individual members of county council and chairmen of boards/committees
    · Deal with notice of motion

    They allocate budget as collected from revenue collected for:
    – Education planning, implementation, workforce development, curriculum management and teacher’s salary
    – Social care (Community social care)
    – Library services
    – Roads planning, maintenance and traffic
    – Sustainable environment management including waste management i.e. most local authorities have joint venture with private sector in recycling of paper and plastics
    – Heath Authority
    – Police Authority
    The city councils also have a cabinet to provide the following services underpinning major policy plans, the budget and Council Tax.
    There is a Cabinet Member for each of the following Council services:
    · Performance and Resources
    · Planning and the Community
    · Regeneration and Culture
    · Housing and Health
    · Heritage and Leisure
    · Environment
    This is my not be a model but is workable with robust scrutiny system open to the public on the other hand it is participatory as public sector, voluntary sector and communities are represented in Local Strategic Partnership which is fed into Local Area Agreement.

  25. Jaugenya says:

    1st i would like to thank hon Ruto for the brilliant article he published in the EA satndard on Majimbo, that is a good way to start educating kenyans on what its all about.Simple digestable language is imperative, from what i gather Majimbo is what we needed 44 years ago.

  26. Sheila says:

    I am an advocate of change! we should not remain stagnant no matter how comfortable we are. Majority of us Kenyans are known to fear change since we do not know how it will affect our lives and the situation is being made worse since the prophets of doom are out to instill fear that Majimbo will foster ethnic animosity. This is not true, we should all be responsible for the development of our regions and we can only do this with the help of the majimbo system. However, we Kenyans should be able to differentiate between a particular region and a tribe.

  27. I believe in majimbo system of government. Please remember, that even if majimbo were to be introduced, it will have to be voted by Kenyans through the referendum along side the Bomas Draft in which the system is elaborated. I therefore do not see why the PNU members are panicing as if the system will automatically begin to be in use by January, 2008. they will still debate it in the Bomas Draft and make any amendment where necessary to be accepted across the country.

    What i know is that people fear the unknow, but believe me you, Majimbo if well introduced and its principles strickly followed then we will have a very health ecomomy.

    Please do ODM a favour by taking any opportunity through any communication channel to elaborate this system. Package the messages on majimbo very simple, to be able to communicate to a lay man.

  28. nick oremo says:

    vote buying

    it is rampant in Industrial area prison warden’s quarters. almost all the wardens wifes and their husbands dont have voters cards. they sell it to people based in compuound and i believe there is a government hand in it. Take note of this areas. My intelligent network can authoritatively report.

  29. Othams says:

    I concur with Dr. Barack Abonyo’s suggestion that ODM should use an alternative term or add another term to majimboism as it has been tainted by our detractors. We should approach Prof. Ali Mazrui or our brothers from Tanzania for help.

  30. Njeri Njenga says:

    First I start with sending congratulations where they are due, Prof. Nyongo and Hon. Ruto for their brilliance in the articles they have contributed as well as verbal contribution in media talk shows of late, determined to clarify and popularise a devolved system of political and economic governance.

    Secondly, I hope that the message in this blog, not only by myself but all who have taken the time to express their concerns here, is made available to the voice box of ODM, which is in greater part, the Pentagon. Although we, their supporters have even gone to the lengths of having household arranged debates on hot issues like Majimboism, we do not have as much audience as the party’s heads do. In light of this, I make the following plea:

    As the earlier comments have noted, there are 34 million Kenyans and an approximate of 14 million registered voters, many of whom plan to vote. Of these, there are some who are literate and some not. There are those who have and are attending public rallies, there are those who are reading the papers, listening to the news but most of these are debating with and listening to their friends, family, acquaintances, work colleagues and neighbours. Wherever I have lent an ear, willingly or otherwise, there is only one underlying message, irrespective of academic qualifications, there are many contradictions, untruths even, so much that there is no common voice among supporters of the Majimbo system.

    There are too many definitions, hence too many implications.

    As a mwananchi who is not only interested in employing an ODM government starting 2008 but who is also interested in building a knowledge culture that will diffuse the folly of euphoria, I urge that ODM EDUCATES THE PUBLIC on its version of Majimboism. Let’s not wait for a manifesto that will hardly be read by Kenyans. We need a simplified and elaborate description of Majimbo, devolution, balkanisation, deconcentration and all other “de’s” that are in favour of sharing of power and resources with the people. We still do not understand how even the forgotten peoples (read Kenya B) will participate in decision making, a concept so foreign.

    We need to first know then understand what section 14 of the draft consitution “Bomas Draft” says then be brought closer home with an illustration so that when Mukhisa and Martha Karua deny the correlation between it and the ODM version, we know who’s lying. Outline this for us in an advertiser in the paper, even read it out on live media and explain. The resources required might be many, but the “damage” done will be irreversible.

    We need to know that we have a unitary system, if that’s what it is and why it exists. Something is said of an apparently Majimbo system at independence. What was it and what was wrong with it? If Moi was one of the authors, why is he so against it? Why was Kenyatta against it, that he quickly ensured it folded?

    ODM needs to remind us (we Kenyans love amnesia and it loves us so) the ills that have been propagated as a result of the existent unitary system. We need to have drawn out, the failures of this system especially where marginalisation is concerned. We need to know what Sessional Paper No. 10 (1965) has to do with inequitable distribution of resources in the structure of a unitary state and how that will be reversed under the Majimbo system. By the way, who were the authors of the paper? Sir Winston Churchill : The further back you look, the further ahead you will see.

    We need to know that we are not copying the supposed ODM-K and Shirikisho models and that we are all adopting from the Bomas (read People’s) edition. That will cancel Mukhisa Kituyi’s argument and bombard Mutula’s claims.

    Kenyans have been poisoned with half-baked illustrations like the Rwanda Genocide, the American Civil War and India’s Hindu-Islam conflicts as being results of Majimboism. We need to know the truth, is it so or were these results of community differences from colonialism that were encouraged by a tyrannical unitary system, abolition of slave trade in an agriculture-based economic system and religious differences, respectively?

    Will the issue of predominant “tribes” in the regions lead to conflict and alienation? Or are these just imaginations growing in the fertile ground of opponents?

    Kenyans need to see and feel that the fear mongers are mongering “porojo” and nothing else, otherwise there will only be more confusion bred.

    We also need it drummed that ODM has nothing to gain from the violence that is being preached as a result of Majimboism. And that a tyrant would gain more from a unitary system seeing as both resources and people are concentrated around him/herself, and so are the goodies/favours (the Santa Claus effect). We need to know that that is why politically correct areas are gratified irrespective of contributing little to the country’s GDP while others host billion shilling industries but pride in also hosting the poorest districts.

    We need it further clarified exactly how CDF and Majimbo are just mother and child and they all work the same but Majimbo has statutorily secured structure that allow for elections of the regional decision making body, making that the MP is not god over all that happens as is with CDF, thus curbing corruption. Plus mazuri machache ya CDF yatakuwa matamu kabambe na Majimbo

    ODM needs to tell us, buy space in the papers, buy time for a T.V. advertiser, sing it during the road shows. Sing it in the campaign tune. Wield it in the face of opponents, with all the facts at hand. That way, I will know, my sister will know, even my cousin in the depth of Ribe will know. Kenyans, we get spin politics daily and we don’t know because we need to be told. We need to know that you are selling us an Orange and the opponents are judging it against the characteristics of a Lemon in order to demonise it.

    We do not want to sell this very vital plan like the way the constitution was sold during the referendum. We want people to begin to vote for policies as well, that is the futuristic way. We want knowledgeable, hence powerful voters, sio voters wa njaa tu.

    Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day, teach him how to fish and…..

  31. Linet says:

    I agree with with Njeri, my thoughts exactly. I thought it would even help further if they distributed literature explaining the devolution during rallies for those who can read. So far ODM leader Ruto and Prof have done a good Job on Radio and TV explaining Majimbo and yesterday PLO’s comments on Citizen were quite valuable too.
    My conclusion is the only people spreading fear on the Majimbo issue are PNU and this is the system we need.
    Please educate those who might have a different interpretaion from what ODM stands for. Another point in 1992 when war mongers used the word there were clashes, ODM has been campaigning on this platform and so far all is well. It’s important to educate even those that are being misled so no potential votes are lost due to misconception.
    Kudos again to Prof and Pentagon member William Ruto.

  32. Steven M says:

    I am impressed by the level of intellect displayed on this issue and how well versed most Kenyans are on what it means to have a devolved system of government. I agree with Njeri on the need to educate the common mwananchi on what ODM’s plans are on the devolved system of government.
    I personally think that Njeri’s comments and by large the commentaries made on this blog should be taken with the urgency it deserves by the ODM pentagon and the party in general relating to this issue of Majimbo and the understanding of the common mwananchi on this subject.
    On Sunday 21 Oct I read an article on one of the local dailies in which various citizens were queried on their thoughts about Majimbo.
    From Rift Valley, one of the people on the ground was not too sure on what it meant for him development wise and also on the governing part but he was sure that it meant it could lead to the clashes as it was in 1992 and 1997. The respondent said to him majimbo might lead to people been displaced and asked to go back where they came from. Though he supported ODM and Raila, he thought this is something that Raila should not follow up since it might lead to people changing their minds about voting for him based on the clashes that occured earlier in our country. This fear is very common on the larger part of rift valley and should not be underrated at any cost.
    A respondent from Central saw no need for majimbo and to him it meant that all the kikuyus will be chased away from other regions to go back to central which he admitted already had a land problem and therefore where will all the other people be settled. He therefore thought it should be shelved.
    A respondent from Nyanza as per his understanding it meant that there will be devolved government and equal sharing of resources and it did not mean that people will be asked to leave.
    Three responses and it came out clearly how different they were.
    The fear of been chased away or land clashes is very predorminant in Riftvalley and Central province. This needs to be addressed urgently by the ODM team. I wondered why is it that the respondent from Nyanza who seemed to get the gist of what ODM has been trying to tell Kenyans and not the others from the other regions? Is it that the message has been well articulated in Nyanza than any other part of Kenya and why is this the case? Personally, I saw a problem that needs to be addressed immediately. ODM needs to find a simplified way of communicating this message to Kenyans from all regions.
    This message can be communicated even through village barazas from the grassroots and any form of informal meetings. Let us all have a common idea on what devolved goverment is and what it means to the common mwananchi. Let us all speak the same language and not different dialects on this issue. Public rallies might help but I think one on one, face to face communication by ODM’s ground soldiers will help in stopping the confusion already been meted out by the PNU people. Opinion leaders at the grassroots level need to be educated on what devolved government means and what ODM’s plans are so that they can articulate this to other Kenyans. I believe our quota of the votes might also increase if this is done effectively.
    God bless Kenya. God bless Raila and ODM. Chungwa Bora, Maisha Bora.

  33. david kioko says:

    I would really like to support what njeri wrote that this message has to reach all and sundry by using all resources because if not handled well might cost us ”some” votes. our target is to win with a convincing majority that will leave the likes of martha karua and kituyi mukhisas alarmist postures badly mutilated. i really dont understand how, well learned fellas like these not forgeting the mutulas can not understand majimbo does not mean tribalism.i asked my daughter who is in class 6 to ”give me the meaning of tribe/tribalism?” and was shocked to realise that she can comprehend this in avery clear manner that will put these prophets of doom to SHAME.please, please, please tribe means KABILA i will leave it to the learned fellas to interprate jimbo, if to the old guys those days it meant tribalism then us kenyans of the 21st century we know it means a region. For koigis consumption, PLEASE DONT LIE TO KENYANS kiswahili dictionary explains very well please buy a class 6 kamusi the salary you drew over the last 5 years is nothing for the less than 200 bob you will use to buy this piece of literature. LONG LIVE ODM, LONG LIVE RAILA, LONG LIVE KENYA.

  34. Anne says:

    As a devout Catholic, am appalled that the church leadership in Kenya has openly come out to oppose the majimbo system of governance proposed by ODM Party, thereby being partisan in their decision. Is it because the PNU presidential candidate is a catholic? Is is because he comes from the same region as the Cardinal?

    This is quite strange because during the 2005 referendum on the draft constitution, the church leadership, then under Archibishop Ndingi left it upon the members to INDIVIDUALLY decide on how to vote on the draft, though some issues inthe draft (e.g. same sex marriage and abortion) were openly against the Catholic Church doctrine.

    It is only Pastor Wilfred Lai and Bishop Margaret Wanjiru who stood openly against the Wako Draft on the principle that it allowed abortion and same sex unions. Where were our Bishops?

    I will vote as an INDIVIDUAL in the coming general election, just like I did during the referendum and NOT as suggested by the Cardinal and the Bishops.

  35. milele kenya says:

    I’m a strong ODM and raila supporter but I’m uncomfortable by one thing. MAJIMBO! Not because it’s a bad idea but because of its meaning in the Kenyan context and the way our opponents are using that meaning to derail the ODM dream. I don’t know about you but I think their efforts are bearing fruit.

    You can clearly see that the fire and enthusiasm that was there in people a few weeks back at the mere sound of ODM is diminishing and (sadly) very fast. What our ODM leaders are doing is selling the right product (devolution of power and resources) in a wrong packaging (majimbo). I know it will not be politically wise to retreat now on majimbo but (If they are to set foot in State House) they should avoid that poisonous word (MAJIMBO) at all costs. Let them keep advocating for devolution of power and resources (which i strongly support) only they should get another name for it.

    Hon. Musa Sirma put it very well at a local television talk show when he said that the ODM government will increase the CDF and reduce or do away with the MPs control over the fund. I think this is what ODM should sell to the people at the moment if it intends to keep the strong following it currently enjoys. A recent opinion poll showed that despite Mr. Odinga leading in polls many people were against majimbo in the same poll. Does that tell us something? I hope this message gets to the ‘PENTAGON’ as soon as possible and I hope they read the signs and act lest they see power slipping through their fingers.


  36. Mjomba says:

    ODM should not go slow on majimbo, we cannot backtrack just because of a temporary challenge. The ODM campaign should tackle issues head on to differentiate ourselves from the rest of the crowd. We can improve our approach but let us keep to our principles. Our message should be consistent. It is only a small but very vocal minority that is against majimbo. I agree with those suggesting looking for another word to use rather than “majimbo” which our detractors are manipulating to our disadvantange.

    The Pentagon team should be given a higher profile in the campaign. Raila should not respond to attacks on his person. The responses should come from Pentagon members and senior officials of the party. This will reinforce the message that ODM is a team.

  37. Mkenyadamu says:

    Generally without political interference Kenyans do not care if their neighbor is from another ethnic community , it is people like Moi and Nyachae who castigate ethnic animosity and now want to blame it on majimbo.Case and example is me i hail from ugenya and the biggest market is at a place called ugunja, on a typical market day kikuyus make a killing by bringing veggies , mitumba and all manner of goods , people buy without prejudice , what of the buses that ferry us home who owns them?My point is,the average Kenyan does not harbor hate it is the evil men like the ones above who act as catalysts.I have seen Somali who speak luo better than me in Sega and nobody cares they even build bomas(Dallas) complete with traditional luo fence ojuok.So majimbo is not about kicking any one out of their homes , financed tribal clashes do that and did it in 92 , 97 and iam sure they will try it again just to turn our collective dream into a nightmare.

  38. Otieno Goodwill says:

    PNU might be having an upper hand on scaring people about Majimbo. To put them back on the defensive, let ODM take it back to the people. Over the next few weeks, ODM leading lights should advocate for having majimbo on the ballot box. In essence therefore, people will be voting for a president, Member of parliament, Counsellor, and majimbo. If one agrees with majimbo then they vote yes, if they dont then they vote no.

    Through this, the ball will have been placed back on PNU’s court and it will give ODM leading lights to concentrate on Kibaki’s other ills such as Corruption, untrustworthiness, etc. The party will therefore have been separated from the fearmongering so that incase people vote NO then ODM can categorically tell people that it will not implement it.

    In addition to Ruto, Kindly consider recruiting eloquent speakers such as PLO Lumumba, James Orengo, & Prof Anyang’ Nyongo for debates on the topic in the Radios and TVs. While worthwhile, Honorable Ruto’s attempt at debating Dr. Kituyi left me with a feeling that he hadn’t done his research on the topic properly.

  39. Washingtone says:

    My sincere advice to the ODM team is to change strategy and tact. If you listen to the PNU now, their campaign manifesto is one: Anti-majimboism- and it is working slowly for them. They have no other agenda, nor policy, let alone manifesto! The term ‘Majimbo’ has been adulterated and doctored to suit your opponent’s agenda- and you guys have limited or no time to educate people in whom fear has been instilled. There is a lot to talk about and win the voters still; Corruption in high places, moneys stashed abroad, Insecurity (Michuki’s gang raiding the press, not to forget the Lucy), Anglo-leasing, ethnicization of employement, the Passport saga, High cost of basic comodity, out-of-reach health facilities, marginalization of minority (or forced minority) and the least goes on and on. Then you have to keep telling the people what you are going to do when you come to power, and how: New Constitution, Job-creation, fair and equal distribution of recourses to all (without really pumping the mis-intepreted word of ‘Majimbo’) etc etc. This part you have done well, but it is being swallowed in the fear-appeal stashed inside anti-majimboism. This is not the time to be too educated by sticking to your side of the gun which seems to working contrary. Change tact guys! I support ODM’s wider agenda, but I fear you guys tumbling down fast if you don’t change tact. In any case, You can bring the issue to a referendum independently or through the Bomas Draft after winning the elections. You can also spend time after winning, educating and sensitizing people.

  40. Oginga Apiyo says:

    Stop playing PNU’s game. Raila’s speech writers should take the fight to them and here is how.

    Over the past five years, and particularly after the referendum, Kibaki has been practicing majimbo in everything but the word. Unlike other regions, Mt. Kenya Jimbo (region) has benefited from all resources and power. Appointments to powerful ministries and top civil service positions have gone to Mt Kenya Jimbo. A significant proportion of money for infrastructure has gone to this jimbo. Investment at NSE has mainly benefited people from this jimbo. Other regions in Kenya have been neglected in the process. It is for this region that ODM wants a majimbo where all regions of the country, and not just ‘Mt. Kenya Jimbo’ benefits in sharing power and resources equitably.

    PNU’s scare mongering on majimbo is dictated by their narrow definition of the term. In their definition, albeit silent, Top civil servants from one region (jimbo) were all fired from the government. Roads in all jimbos in Kenya, other than the Mt. Kenya jimbo were never reconstructed, and are today in a dilapidated state. Some jimbos such as Coast contributed over Ksh. 45 billion while Mt. Kenya Jimbo contributed slightly over a billion to the government, but most of the development/resource allocation went to the later jimbo.

    This is a tilted version of majimbo and all it’s benefits are going to the Mt. Kenya Jimbo. That is why Kibaki is busy saying ‘Kazi iiendelee’.

  41. Oginga Apiyo says:

    Given the animmosity created by PNU over Majimbo, Raila and all top pentagon members should boldly do what Ruto did concerning the Ndungu report. Humanize the issue. Put faces to the concept.


    Mudavadi for example would reassure Kenyans that he has land in the Rift Valley, and so there is no way he can ask people from other regions who bought land in regions other than their ancestral homes who have property to go back. Odinga, Ngilu, Nyaga, Balala, Ruto should also use examples that can resonate with Kenyans

  42. Thanks alot Mr. Raila for your continuous support and for enlightening Kenyans on the best side to take. I do appreciate and support the fact that Majimbo is the best form of Government that Kenya require at this moment to further the development of this country. I can say that Kenya has grown but the problem is it has not developed.
    According to the recent opinion polls you realized that you dropped slightly. As a matter of fact the reason lies behind the “majimbo” saga. Most of the Kenyans dont understand really what this Majimbo is and for those who know mislead the others especially the mwanachi wa kawaida.
    So my appeal is please consider this advice. Give Kenyans the right to deside whether they want it or not by telling them that if you become the president, you will conduct a refferundum for the people to decide on the issue.
    Otherwise I wish you all the best as I campaign for you here at Baraton University and more so my Constituency Baringo.

    God Bless you and Kenyans Need Change, Kenyans need a corruption free Kenya and more so Kenyans need an economy that doesnt favour the rich but the Common mwanachi!!!!

  43. Raymond says:

    Raila and the Pentagon should be more explicit in explaining how exactly they want to implement the so called “majimbo”. PNU is swinging a propaganda about the mojimbo idea, but ODM is not coming out strongly to explain what they mean by majimbo! They should speak from the same script hence ODM doesnt end up with a mutated version of what majimbo is or should be! Best approach let ODM clarify the Majimbo issue in a simple way-devolution of power…..taking power to the grassroot…that will definitely sell at the village level…benefits gained by bringing development to the village, location level…
    58 days to go and the clock is ticking……let ODM use these remaining days wisely.

  44. Eric B says:

    Now that it apprears that ODM cannot run away from the majimbo agenda I would rather they began using the simplified term D&D to explain this whole majimbo issue. Devolution and Decentralization (D&D) is what Kenyans agreed upon in Bomas. I think D&D as a slogan can stick in even most wananchis’ minds. I can’t agree more though that it needs to be explained but explained very simply and in a manner that resonates with most Kenyans.

    Take up the challenge ODM! You can’t lose this election when you have us (the people on your side). And don’t let the Meru incidents dampen your spirits. I think that the captians percentage pointws could well surge a little after that sort moronic behaviour.

  45. JONATHAN says:

    I really feel for people like Moi who are now spending sleepless nights to have Kibaki retain power. Moi has recently been attacking ODM party for their intention to devolve governance.
    I come from the same district with Moi and feel the heavy price we paid while he enjoyed being the Head of state. During his days, people from “families that are known” had a world of their own distanced from the rest. Moi only heard and dealt with the interests of people like Hosea Kiplagat, Kipkulei, Kulei, Late Mayor Chelagat, Late Elizabeth Chesire and some others.
    Right now, his son Gideon has followed the same foot steps. We in the Baringo central cannot wait to have a devolved goverment. The exploitation of big shorts should be a thing of the past.
    Schools like Sacho High school which were built by Wananchi should be taken back from Moi’s family and owned by the people.
    Be assured, Moi himself cannot preach the nonsense of PNU in Baringo central, we know well how centralised goverment operates

  46. Raphael "Chungwa" Musau says:

    I agree with Eric totally. Some clowns in government are trying to trick people and twist this word Majimbo. ODM needs to use Devolution and Decentralization as a slogan and push that to the people then lets see what Kituyi and kimunya come up with next. 30 million a year as CDF is not really enough to do projects, we need more. ODM has to come out clearly on their slogan before people start to think that they too dont know what they are talking about.

    Kudos to Ruto to making Kituyi look like a clown the other day on telly.

    ODM we are with you and be strong while you go out ther to convince the other Kenyans who are still covering their eyes from the truth that this government has failed and needs to be replaced with a younger generation of right minded individuals.

    PNU’s slogan is “Kazi Iendele”, who said it wont if ODM comes to power??

  47. Auki Ollows says:


    Look, it’s clear to everyone that what ODM means by its majimbo is devolution a la Bomas Constitutional Draft 2004. Even PNU knows this. In fact, PNU themselves support devolution though they don’t declare their extent just yet. Therefore, this is a political fight so, I just the following slogans:






    MAJIMBO.1963 : MOI (PNU)
    MAJIMBO.2008 : RAILA (ODM)

    ANS: LOOK AT THE AGE OF THEIR PRINCIPALS – MOI, KIBAKI, NYACHAE, KARUME, MICHUKI, AWORI. The youngest principal is Kombo who is older than the oldest principal in ODM, Raila.

    ANS: LOOK AT THE AGE OF ODM PRINCIPALS – NYAGA, MUDAVADI, RUTO, BALALA. The oldest principal is Raila who is younger than the youngest principal in PNU, Kombo

    Through this, we get back on the offensive…


  48. Auki Ollows says:


    We must also take the path of confronting our fears. We can’t always be succumbing to our fears instead of resolving them. What’s worse, we casn’t be held hostage by 1960s fears. I can’t listen to any 1960s politician telling me how the Majimbo system failed. For me to listen, they would have to convince me that the best efforts were made. From my reading of history, it is clear that Kanu sabotaged it using their superior power.

    I have now read the Devolution Chapter of Bomas for myself. I am convinced that it makes serious attempts to resolve fears of minorities and marginalized groups like women, youth, older persons, people with disabilities. Fears of minorities in a jimbo is what PNU is playing on. The truth of the matter is that Kenyans have no problem with those they live with. It has never been given any real press the fact that, many Kikuyus who suffered the ‘land clashes’ of the 90s, were in very many cases given valuable intelligence, by the Kalenjin neighbours they lived with, on the programme of attacks. It has also never been given any press the fact that many of those displaced were quietly hidden in Kalenjin homes… I was in Rift Valley during these clashes. And being neither Kikuyu nor Kalenjin I can offer an unbiased view.

    The point ODM must bring out very clearly is the force with which those wanting to injure the system will be met with. At any rate, we are well aware that being The People, the matter must be brought to referendum for a resolution. This fact must also be emphasised because it gives the final power to the people which makes us feel empowered much more than thge spectators PNU want us to be…

    Kwa hivyo, sasa ni Tumechoka na ‘order(s) from Nairobi’ huko mashinani…

  49. Dr MAKODINGO Washington says:

    Until a while ago, I and many more like me were convinced this election was going to be won on Majimbo-and this was going to happen in favour of ODM. But then reality has a way of knocking common sense into our heads. And this reality no longer makes this win certain.

    The reason is simple. We have allowed PNU propagandists to put us on the defensive to a point we are now the ones defending Majimbo!! It’s supposed to be them defending their stand against Majimbo for goodness sake!!

    Our spokespeople on this havent helped either as none of them seems to agree with the other on what Majimbo really is.

    It’s time we got our act together or we are staring defeat in the face on an issue that should have won us the Election.

    This thing is simple: These people do not want majimbo because the availability of resources in our regions will deny them the exorbitant rent they charge us on their houses, the hiked fares we pay on their matatus, the increased school fees we pay in their schools, the arbitrarily increases in commodity prices we pay for in their shops…And the list is endless! How many Kenyans do you know who would actually vote for this?

  50. Dr MAKODINGO Washington says:

    For more authoritative and final word on Majimbo, I would like to invite you to The Young Patriots 4 Change’s Majimbo Luncheon at the Sarova Stanley on Monday 5th November 2007 from 12.00noon to 2.00pm at 5000/= per person. Only 150 slots are available.

    Contact Me on 0722 269 749/ 0736 974 339

  51. Auki Ollows says:


    Your post was on 31.10.2007. Do you still feel the same? I feel as if the message has converged. The body language of the The Ptg looked confident in Nakuru. The crowd was responsive (and even braved some serious downpour)… I think we are on the front foot again…

  52. Auki Ollows says:

    By the way, Washington, what do you mean by ‘these people’?

  53. Antony Kamanu says:

    Washngton, does these people include myself? Are you talking of kikuyus? I also pay rent, fares on matatus, buy from shops and supermarkets and i don’t care whether its owned by a Kikuyu, kamba Luo or Muhindi.

    Lets not trivialise majimbo by arguing like Washington because we want devolution for everyone in Kenya including the business owners he is talking about. We want votes from everyone who logs in this site not to lose them. If i have a matatu and majimbo will help me grow my business, then am for it.

    By the way my landlord is a Luo

  54. Auki Ollows says:

    I agree Kamanu, in toto! Raila on this Saturday’s Nation said he is a landlord. Does ‘these people’ include him? He said everyone will pay rents, bus and matatu fares etc. And, most importantly, “THERE WILL BE NO JOYRIDERS!”.

    So, rest easy Kamanu. Views such as Washington’s don’t represent thinking at any level in ODM! It is precisely because of such thought that people get scared. They start imagining that people like Makodingo inform thinking in ODM.

    We must let it be known that we want ODM and Raila to win but not at the cost of scaring legitimately hardworking Kenyans. Hakuna hiyo!

    Kamanu and every other ODM supporter relax! We want your votes like we do every other Kenyans. Just like you want our votes for ODM. ODM belongs to you just as much as it belongs to everyone else in Kenya including ‘these’ landlords, shopkeepers, matatu owners etc.

    And may I add: We MUST all take it as our role to, ourselves, learn ugatuzi properly and subsequently participate in educating everyone from whom we seek votes. The reason we have been fed with govts from independence is that they assume this high pedestal and begin preaching at subjects. We also have views, that’s why we are blogging on

    We will take none of that upuzi of ‘final and authoritative’ gaga about majimbo. We have the Bomas and Kilifi Drafts, on this website, and are well able to read for ourselves. If we go to a discussion, it is because we are going to participate and not be ‘authoritatively’ be handed some knowledge which we ‘meekly’ accept… That IS NOT my interpretation of the Orange Dream.


  55. Auki Ollows says:

    The statement “The reason we have been fed with govts…” should read “The reason we have been fed UP with govts”

  56. Auki Ollows says:

    I found this article a very interesting read…


    Published on November 8, 2007, 12:00 am

    By Tajudeen Abdul-Raheem

    Last Saturday, at the famous Ufungamano Hall, I (not unexpectedly) walked straight into the brawling ring of Kenya’s ongoing political campaigns.

    I was a key-note speaker at a public lecture on ‘The Great Majimbo Debate’ organised by the Young Professionals for Raila. It was obviously a partisan platform, but the matter being discussed was of a public nature in which I had both personal and professional interest.

    I had made it clear to my hosts that I was not coming to speak as a UN staffer, but rather as a concerned Pan-Africanist and a political scientist who comments freely on African issues. That caveat was of no use in the ensuing reports.

    I do not usually blame the media for ‘misrepresentation’ or ‘misquoting’ but on this occasion my colleagues in the Fourth Estate really undersold themselves. They were more concerned with my UN status and all the reports even managed to get my position and particular UN affiliation wrong.

    But this should not deflect us from the political significance of the debate that is wrongly termed majimbo but which for me is about wider issues of political and economic governance, devolution of power and the degree to which people of Kenya should have control over their destiny and the accountability of their leaders to them at various levels. It is a debate that has echoes in many African countries. It is about how to deepen democracy beyond just the right to ritually vote periodically.

    In the current charged competition for votes the debate is couched in exclusive terms. On President Kibaki’s side they have succeed in wrong footing the pro-devolution group as majimboists (code word for tribalists) and enemies of the unity of the country. The Opposition has reacted defensively saying they are not clamouring for the old divisive majimbo of the 1960s, rather it is political devolution.

    What is clear is that both sides agree on devolution but cannot agree on by how much. The Government thinks the Constituency Development Fund which came under this regime (even though it was from a Private Members Bill instead of from Government or Opposition legislative agenda) is enough. The Opposition thinks it should be extended to regional levels. I think if devolution is so good, why is it being limited to 2.5 per cent?

    Whether you call it majimbo or devolution, the consensus means that everyone is not happy with the status quo. This is where my defence of federalism begins.

    One, the response to an overbearing centralised state is devolution of power and clamouring for same by the constituent units in that system. They could be districts, provinces, regions or other administrative areas.

    Two, in the specific case of Kenya it is clear that the Bomas consensus was to have a very weak form of federalism/devolution which shares powers and resources between the constituent units on a more equitable way but retaining substantial and most importantly the power to levy taxes, at the centre.

    It will be very much different from the Nigerian federalism which is centre-centric (all mineral resources are controlled by the centre) but every state (and even local governments) can levy and collect taxes as they deem fit and permissible under the constitution. They can also make laws on non-exclusive legislative areas. However, if there is a clash with federal law the federal law will prevail.

    The Kenyan model also differs from the Ethiopian federalism which is based on ethnic nationalities and guarantees ‘the right to self determination including secession’.

    It appears that what the political class agreed in Bomas was a more generic association with the South African halfway house between federalism and unitarism. And even that may seem too much for sections of this class as evident from the inability to implement it and the emotional debates around it.

    The political scoring games between politicians are preventing a serious discussion but whoever wins the election cannot defer the matter any longer. Unfortunately the Government side seem to be scaring Kenyans with a break-up of the country if federalism is accepted and the Opposition side is too fearful of losing support to put up a principled case for a devolved federalism with Kenyan compromises (even scared of using the word). Both sides are surcharging the public.

    While there may be many challenges with establishing a federal system, including the threats of narrow nationalism, regionalism or statism, the solution is not to continue to defend the unsatisfactory status quo but to agree on rights of all Kenyans wherever they may be and the full commitment to the rule of law to defend them.

    The opportunities of a federal system are just too many for fear to intimidate supporters from articulating it. One, it offers greater opportunities for wider political recruitment of leadership instead of the current situation of being limited to national Cabinet level.

    For instance you may not have heard of Yar Adua in Nairobi but he did not come from inside Obasanjo’ hat of dirty tricks because he had been Governor of one of Nigeria’s 36 states for two terms.

    Two, marginalised peoples or regions, youth, women and others have wider opportunity for accessing leadership position through the state/regional levels and graduating to national level. A situation in which 60-year-old Kenyans are being asked ‘to wait for their turn’ or regarded as ‘Young Turks’ only demonstrate the limited space available at the top.

    Three, gone are the days when it was wrongly assumed that in order to be a nationalist you have to deny being part of a particular community. That strategy has generally not worked instead it produced all kinds of ethnic, regional and religious manipulation in the name of nation-building.

    The problem is not in our diversities but the denial of those differences and the politics of exclusion required for enforcing those regime of denials.


  57. Dennis says:

    As you may have realized, the MOU you allegedly signed with the Muslims is becoming a very thorny issue. I have just read what seems to be a copy of the MOU on a Kenyan public forum!

    Is this the Copy of the MOU? Please tell Kenyans!

    I am your supporter. I reside in Langata with my whole family, but we have been taken aback by the kind of ammunition you are giving your opponents by signing such a pact with one religious group that could mean Christians will vote against you.

    You are very close to becoming Kenya’s 4 President, I suggest you be careful with the things you utter about Muslims, Taxes, Education that would be your own undoing.

    Kenyans Voted enmass for Kibaki, who you supported. We all got totally disappointed by him soon after. Thats what people call one bitten, twice shy. This time we don’t want to undergo the humiliation we went through when our hopes we shot up high by you in 2002.

    Please don’t disappoint us and if my family and I find out you are fighting for majimbo to form some Isamic states within Kenya, we will vote against you in the parliamentary elections AND the general elections.

    I have an ID and a voters card, so do 7 members of my nuclear family, friends and relatives who I have been trying to convince to vote, and vote for your course. This could be what will cost you the presidency if you dont come out clean. I await your response.

  58. Steven M says:

    I am disappointed that you can think that Raila can sign such rubbish. Raila as far as I can remember has never made such a huge blunder. Its outrageous for even me personally, an ordinary citizen to sign such nonsense. Who even said that the signature in the purported MOU is his?
    Raila cannot make such a huge mistake. The man is not naive. Kindly read that document again and ask yourself if Raila is that desperate. Then look at Kenya’s political history and what Raila has always stood for and defended then ask yourself if he can agree to such rubbish. 25 years fighting for a better Kenya is just too long to waste it on such a fallacious document.
    We need to separate the wheat from the chaffe and make pronounced decisions based on facts. What PANUA has done might work against them. If the muslim leaders go out there and tell their people the truth then more votes will come to ODM. These guys have no ideology or agenda for the Kenyan peole hence the hitting below the belt. Let us not be distracted by useless propaganda and move on fighting the good fight. We are ahead of the pack and to stay there or move further ahead requires patience and solitude which our captain has. Do not believe what you hear from PNU.

  59. MARRIOS says:


  60. MARRIOS says:


  61. marrios says:

    majimbo has become a mejor political issue in all provinces and district. wich is the fact political animal of body dears to give majimbo a blind eye .majimbo means land reform kenya goverment should buy back the land wich were stolen from indiginas people . majimbo should look back to all municeple map of the contry go 100 back and look all the titall deed of evry kenyan . you will be shorck and stand out all the goverment property had been used for personal used for self serving intrest this is uharamu haki za wanainchi . we dont care if youre father is moi ,kinyatta,or kibaki all goverment property wich are stolen should be riturn. and those who steel should be havy fine and imrisoment wethout in doing this so kenya is in turmoil it will erupt again like a volcano we should make true peace with other tribes wich is like our four fathers without harming and peace love and unity

  62. marrios says:

    majimbo most of as in kenya today we in heritage peace of land from our four fathers generation .privious goverment are targeting poor people to raise land tax so they could not afford so they could be forced to cell on top of that those who dint cell there property had been put to oction all these thing who ever bihind this should be acountable this hiness crime

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