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Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Good Governance in a Democratic Society

By Regina Nyokabi

Good governance entails the upholding of democratic principles where all must be heard in turn. It ensures that the voice of the disadvantaged, such as the poor, is given an opportunity to be heard.  All citizens regardless of their color, religion, sex, age or political persuasion have equal rights, unlike in Kenya where the voice of its people is not even heard and put into consideration .The poor are instead oppressed, their land grabbed and then they are stuffed into unfriendly environment with poor health and public facilities like schools, police stations, making the place amount to a slum. We even have a lot of displaced individuals who are suffering in their camps from hunger and harsh weather conditions like floods and strong winds, while those responsibly assigned to cater for them are looting the resources to help this needy people for their own selfish gains.

A good government ensures that the need of its people are prioritized and addressed without favorism. It must be seen to be the greatest advocate of social responsibility. It should shield its people from vices such as injustice, nepotism, greed, corruption, inefficiency and neglect. Here in “uhuru” land, the government prioritizes their own interests and if they will consider its people, they base it with favorism which reflects on tribalism, racial and gender discrimination thus its people suffer from the vices of moral misconduct.

A good government recognizes that its people are its most important resource and invests in them. It does this by facilitating provision of resources to meet human basic needs such as shelter, food, health, and education, contrary to Kenya where members of the government use public  money to serve their interest ;money which is supposed to run various projects for the benefit of its people.
A good government must have a vision for the future; It must invest in the youth and involve them in different activities such a government also recognizes the importance of the family unit as a source of governance and development. Kenya goes wrong after abandoning the youth who are the future to their own devices. The government here does not involve the youth in beneficial activities thus the youth end up in drugs, immorality, lawlessness or join militia groups.

In good governance, there is recognition of the roles of both men and women and tries to make use of their capabilities for the good of the society. It ensures that both participates in decision making and gets access to and control over resources. It should ensure a balance in votes using appropriate measures by considering gender, ethnicity, religion, age, socio-economic standing and disablement. Gender discrimination is the core issue in the government circulation in Kenya. Rooted in our traditions, the girl child is deprived of her rights to education, inheritance and leadership while the boy child is prioritized and given almost everything. The whole concept has ruled in Kenya’s governance where they believe a woman can’t lead or rule men in particular. That makes me believe that most of our African men are very proud and their ego high, what they need is to get off their high horse. Women are denied a chance in leadership with an excuse that they are generally weak and they should submit to the rule of the male gender a concept borrowed from the domestic family unit.

Good governance has no room for selfish use of public resources to benefit one or a small group of individuals. The people responsible should use public resources without wastage. They should report what they do honestly and the report should be available for the public to see. The government officials here; ranging from the smallest governors, the husbands, from the family unit, all the way to the National Finance Minister, have created room for their selfish use of resources to their own benefit. How the Finance Minister is used is their secret. Making them a bunch of thieves who resources and leave treasuries empty and ruined. That’s why civil servants organize strikes and carry out demonstrations for an increment in their wages and Mr. Finance  Minister is like; “we don’t have money so you better resume to your respective duties,” Yet the government ministers and members of parliament request an increment on their bounty salaries and the idea is passed  almost immediately.

 As a parting shot, good governance should show a high level of concern, among its people and high level of networking linkages and efficient communication among its organs. Kenya’s government should learn that freedom and justice reassure people that they are well governed.
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