Garissa Township sub-county is one of the sub-counties in Garissa County. The sub-county has four wards which are; Galbet, Iftin, Waberi and Township ward. The sub-county (Constituency) is represented by honorable Aden Bare Duale as their Member of the National Assembly.
On July 25th 2017, Sauti Yetu held a political debate for all candidates vying for the position of the member of the National Assembly. The debate was held at Almond Resort Hotel and kicked off at 7.30 pm.
The objectives of the debate were; to provide a platform for the public that shifts the political agenda from it being politician-led to community-led and give community members the opportunity to assess and ascertain the suitability of potential leaders to vie for public office. To cultivate, shape and sustain issue-based electoral processes that utilize the principal of leadership and integrity as the supreme criteria of choosing potential leaders. To increase and sustain productive engagement between potential duty bearers and right holders through public participation in a way that fosters responsiveness and responsibility.
The candidates who attended the debate were; Honorable Farah Maalim of Wiper Party, Honorable Abdi Yale Mohammed an Independent candidate and Honorable Mohammed Suley of Amani National Congress party.
The main discussion in the debate was about inclusivity of all in the county as opposed to clannism. The reason was Garissa Township sub-county is one of the few that practice negotiated democracy where a council of elders known as ‘lords’ made of men, come together and decide who to hold what political position.
This kind of governing has a lot of negative implications such as; leaders who are mandated to serve the citizens end up consulting the ‘lords’ and instead of progress it ends up hindering services and development. The council of elders sits in the procurement committee hence no level playground for bidders as the ‘lords’ have lists of companies to be awarded tenders from whom they probably take kickbacks.
Leaders’ especially county executives cannot question the quality of work done by contractors and if they raise any concern the contractors tell the ‘lords’ who intimidate the administration. They incite the residents against the leadership whenever the leaders raise a question. The ‘lords’ also decide who gets employment depriving qualified youth employment opportunities a factor that drives some of them to be radicalized. As a result of segregated clans, small communities are marginalized hence negotiated democracy intensifies clannism.
This democracy contravenes the constitution especially the two-third gender rule as the council of elders are male dominated where women are left out in decision making processes. During party nominations, direct nominations are given to some aspirants while other aspirants are intimidated by the council of elders. This contravenes Article 81(a) freedom of citizens to exercise their political rights. Article 1(1) All sovereign power belongs to the people of Kenya and shall be exercised only in accordance with this constitution.
In Garissa sub-county though a cosmopolitan, the clans outstanding in decision making are;
During the debate where 128 male and 38 female attended the candidates urged the community to shun clannism- conner tribe as they called it and this will end politics inclined to ones’ clan as this will champion the desire of the community instead of that of the clan and foster development.
During the debate the candidates and community members hailed Sauti Yetu for holding such a wonderful debate and requested for more of these debates for other elective positions.