Radio Talk- Devolution with Omar Hamisi

While a lot of program activities have been put on standby due to government directives on how to manage control the spread of COVID-19, our radio programs have been ongoing and here is a recap of what discussion was covered this previous weekend on Saturday, 18th July 2020. The awareness session was led by our paralegal Omar Hamisi and he covered Devolution.

Devolution is a concept that is familiar amongst most Kenyans following the public transfer and the decentralization or delegation of power from the national tier to a lower level. It entails the delegation of responsibilities to local governments from the central government.

The objectives  of devolution when it was introduced included;

a) to promote democratic and accountable exercise of power;

(b) to foster national unity by recognizing diversity;

(c) to give powers of self-governance to the people and enhance the participation of the people in the exercise of the powers of the State and in making decisions affecting them;

(d) to recognize the right of communities to manage their own affairs and to further their development;

(e) to protect and promote the interests and rights of minorities and marginalized communities;

(f) to promote social and economic development and the provision of proximate, easily accessible services throughout Kenya;

(g) to ensure equitable sharing of national and local resources throughout Kenya;

(h) to facilitate the decentralization of State organs, their functions and services, from the capital of Kenya; and

(i) to enhance checks and balances and the separation of powers.

Decentralization aimed at ensuring that power and responsibility factored the different needs of different geographical areas to ensure all persons in different communities and with different demographics are well catered for and have access to adequate social services, well within their reach.



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The campaign above is meant to

  • Increase awareness of COVID-19 in the community
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  • Provide food, and sanitary equipments for families in the community that are struggling to provide for themselves



The conduct of the state during the COVID-19 Pandemic shows the level of consideration the government has for its citizens. While people are fighting challenges such as hunger, insecurity and unaffordable lifestyles, residents in Kariobangi and Ruai in Kenya woke up to new challenges that now threaten the livelihood of residents; including women and children.

With the on going Pandemic, a new challenge hitting a majority citizens is the ongoing demolitions that are happening during night time because of alleged illegal construction on disputed pieces of land. All demolitions have happened during the night.
Currently, the affected areas are Ruai and Kariobangi. The demolished houses in Ruai are alleged to be on a 3000 acre piece of land that is meant for the expansion of the Dandora Sewerage Treatment Plant. At least 200 families have been left homeless. Demolitions in Kariobangi left around 5000 families homeless. Majority of those left homeless say they received no prior notice before the evictions.
While the state may justify the need for the demolitions, the action is wrong because prior ruling from the courts had instructed all parties to maintain status quo until the final determination of the case. The respondents ignoring the court ruling and carrying out the demolitions are in contempt. Upholding of the law in Kenya by the state has always been an issue of concern because most of rulings given to the state by the courts are rarely adhered to- these demolitions being a practical example.
Constitutionally, the government has a responsibility to its citizens to provide for them during these trying times but unfortunately this is not the case. Those approving demolitions of residents during this period should have a strategy that provides for the well being of the people. The risks of demolitions exposes children to cold, exposes individuals to potential COVID-19 infected persons and risks losing lives due to many unavoidable factors.

With restricted movement directives issued by the government, it is impossible for the residents left homeless to opt to go back home. Instead they are stranded in a critical state that exposes them to COVID-19, hunger and insecurity. The actions of departments of the state show the lack of proper planning between the different departments in the government to cater for demolitions and at the same time execute safe evacuations of residents to temporary safe sites. It also shows the level of disrespect of the state for the law and the courts at large.

Join our tweet chat today at 13:00 hours as we discuss the state of the evicted citizens and find a way forward.

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