Threats to close down counties give MCAs sleepless nights

Monday, September 2nd, 2019 00:00 |
Cash. Photo/Courtesy

MCA Gwinso

MCA Chonjo sounded extremely worried. “I want to see you urgently. Where are you?” It was late in the evening and I was at home. I told him so and he said he would be with me in a moment. I wondered what was ‘eating’ my colleague so much that he wanted to see me at such an ungodly hour.

True to his word, Chonjo was at my abode in a matter of minutes. The man did not just look worried: he was worried. Mama Hirohito, daughter of my mother-in-law, also sensed this and in her wisdom, excused herself to give us some space.

Bwana Gwinso, things are thick for me.”


“If county government operations are shut as they are saying, I am finished. Completely finished.”

I stifled a laugh. I did not see why this man was so worried about a mere threat. Didn’t he realise that the statement issued by the chairman of the Council of Governors was a negotiation gimmick? However, the look on his face and the desperation in his voice made me pity him.

“But Mheshimiwa, they can’t shut down the counties. That would be a major catastrophe,” I said, trying to sound confident and reassuring. “After all, you are not the only one who will suffer if it comes to that. So don’t be so worried.”

“Gwinso, you just don’t know,” the MCA said. “My world will collapse. All those tenders! Where will I take the supplies I have already ordered? Tell me, where?” whimpered the ward rep. I could now feel him.

“What do we do?”

“The senator is your close friend. Talk to him.  Tell him to persuade his senate colleagues to accept the amount the MPs have approved. Hakuna haja ya kuvutana sana.” I was surprised that he knew about my friendship with the senator. I had all along thought our relationship was chini ya maji. 

MCA Chonjo insisted that we book an appointment with the senator urgently. “I know he can even receive your call at this hour.” He was right. I called the senator right away.

“Gwinso, what is burning?” the senator’s voice came from the other end.

“We’d like to see you urgently.”

“Where ‘we’ means you and who?” he asked, sounding apprehensive.

“MCA Chonjo and myself.”

We secured an appointment for eight o’clock the following day. By the time Chonjo was leaving my house, he was looking much brighter. The following morning found us in the senator’s office. “Welcome, my bosses,”  he said, rising to his feet.

You know you are the real bosses of devolution. Without you MCAs, we senators are nothing. We are just your foot soldiers. We shall fight for you to the bitter end. We must get the correct allocation of revenue. Aluta continua!”

“But Sir, it is time you senators just gave in. This standoff is doing us a lot of harm. We are the ones feeling the heat because we are on the ground,” I said.

“No way! These MPs cannot rule over us,” insisted the senator.

At this point, I was bewildered to see MCA Chonjo go on his knees in front of the senator. “Bwana Senator, please, I beg you, for the love of humanity, accept that amount the MPs have approved. If the county government operations stop, I am finished. I mean our people will suffer..please.”

Before the senator could speak, the door was flung open and at the entrance stood none other than His Popularity the Governor of our County. I had never seen a more awkward moment. 

“Come in, Mheshimiwa,” said the senator. “We are just having a small talk with my bosses here.” MCA Chonjo remained on his knees.

“What is the matter?” inquired the county boss, eyeing Chonjo curiously. The senator asked the MCA to rise, and then explained to the governor what exactly had happened.

“Well,” said the governor. “To be honest, I personally also feel the same. That is what has brought me here. You senators should just swallow your pride and accept what has been offered. Otherwise, things will be bad for us.”

Sounding persuaded, the senator agreed to talk to his colleagues about the matter. Wacha tungoje.[email protected]

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