County governance and pluralism in Kenya – Conrad Bosire

The 2010 Kenya Constitution is clear about the pursuit of pluralism and diversity through its devolved system of government comprising 47 county governments and the national government. The objectives of devolution proffer that counties are to enhance diversity for purposes of national unity, and that county governments will facilitate the accommodation of ethnic minorities.

The argument presented in this paper is that, despite these broad intentions or purpose, the detailed design of county institutions and relevant institutions at the national level does not give a serious attention to the principle of pluralism. Groups or communities to be accommodated are not properly identified and no objective effort has been made to address this through enabling legislation or policy.  As a result, aspects such as electoral system, composition of the public service and administrative structures and other avenues where pluralism can be pursued in devolved governance, have not been effectively implemented. Despite the poor institutional design, political will and serious efforts to ensure inclusiveness, diversity, and pluralism, can overcome some of the poor designs and ensure realisation a part of the broad constitutional goals.

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