Today, I was a guest at Mtaani Radio show, Accountability Monday where alongside with Ms. Tebby Otieno a new anchor and journalist at the station we urged residents of Dagoretti North and Dagoretti South to embrace public participation as a tool for enjoying one’s sovereign power.
In fact this is enshrined in Article 1 of the Constitution of Kenya which states that “sovereignty power belongs to the people of Kenya.” This means that we as Kenyans we’ve the supreme power. Our leaders are just holding brief for us. This is good music to my ears.
In fact the Constitution of Kenya goes further to state that “there should be accountability and openness including public finance management,” Article 201 of the supreme law of Kenya (CoK 2010).
The Constitution of Kenya 2010 presents numerous opportunities for public participation in policy formulation, implementation and oversight.
This was not the case under the old constitution which was adopted after Kenya gained independence in 1963.
In fact, public budget was one of the top secrets. Kenyans only got to know what is the document once it was read before parliament.
In fact, there is a story I once read a story that an assistant minister was once sacked for leaking budget information to the members of the public before budget day. To cut the long story short, he was sacked!
That is how bad it was to reveal the hidden secrets. During those days, public budgets were largely used to announce price increases and decreases.
That was the day you would know whether the price of flour, sugar, beer and other basic products would increase or reduce.
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