Give MCAs the honour worth their mandate

Wednesday, April 5th, 2023 08:52 | By

Last Saturday, the Member of County Assembly (MCA) for Kisa East Ward in Kakamega county, Stephen Maloba, was stabbed to death at a public rally in the presence of senior local politicians and administrators.

Circumstances  surrounding the killing of legislator Maloba remain a subject of investigations by law enforcement officers.

Police have so far grilled three suspects. However, even as the probe goes on, matters relating to the role, stature, respect and security of the Ward Representatives have cropped up in earnest.

Deservedly so. The crucial responsibilities of MCAs in the devolved political system cannot be gainsaid. 

MCAs are an essential and indispensable component in fixing all the bolts and nuts that define development programmes. They are the grassroots link between the populace and the State on development matters and, therefore, key pillars at the centre of devolution. 

It thus goes without saying MCAs are crucial players in the social, political, economic and administrative discourse of Kenya’s progress.

However, it is also a fact that the county lawmakers are not accorded the honour commensurate with their constitutional mandate.

MCAs are the ones who have been tasked to check rogue governors. Since 2013, they have dutifully played this role though in some cases, the Judiciary or the Senate have quashed their decisions.

Whenever, a public event of national import is being planned, it is always the MCAs who is contacted for grassroots mobilisation of the populace.

Though — sadly — when the day of the function dawns, they are relegated to the periphery and only asked to stand up and wave at the congregation as a form of introduction.

That notwithstanding, the security of MCAs is a matter that requires to be urgently addressed.

Just like their counterparts in the National Assembly and in the Senate,  MCAs are people’s representatives and lawmakers in their own right.

By dint of that, they too attract hostilities from their political rivals and other haters who may not like them owing to the laws they enact or county finances they oversight. 

In all respects, the MCAs need to be handed honour worth their mandate. MCAs should be accorded State security in form of bodyguards and firearms.

It does  not have to take the macabre killing of Maloba for security of MCAs to become a matter of debate and consideration 

Lack of security for MCAs is a missing piece that should long have been addressed.

Probability is that had the late Maloba been armed and was escorted by a bodyguard, he surely would be alive today.

It should not take another assassination of an MCA for the government to take the security of county legislators seriously.

This is a move that is long overdue. It does not require ping-pongs of debate.

The government should act very fast and give some honour to the Ward Representatives in all the 47 counties. This honour starts with according them adequate security. They do not need to beg for it. They deserve it.

Meanwhile, let the State move fast and apprehend the killers of Maloba. 

Justice delayed if justice denied. So they say. Similarly, they add, justice must not only be done but it must be seen to be done. 

— The author is Revise Editor, People Daily —  [email protected]

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