Challenges Facing Change Managers in Devolved Governance

by Mohammed Khayundi
(Nairobi, Kenya)

There are two levels of governance in Kenya under the new constitutional framework, i.e. national government and county government.

People are worried that the change management teams in counties will be faced with various challenges that could frustrate the devolution process. Some of the challenges which have no clear solutions are listed below:

1. How the team will be able to handle the gender equality (balancing) problem yet the number of women who are most disadvantaged as far as decision-making and political leadership positions are concerned; is limited or do not present themselves for consideration. All they want is affirmative action.

2. How the team will handle cases of minorities and marginalized groups during the nominations and appointments for elective and leadership positions. Ethnic biases will hinder possibilities of their ascending to elective positions despite being part of the communities in which they live.

3. The challenge of devolution of corruption from the current national government to the counties is a major concern because most of the leadership likely to take over positions in the counties will have served at the national level in the past.

4. Conflicts in the interpretation of the diverse ethics and cultural beliefs by the change management teams within the county and other neighbouring counties; e.g. some communities believe cattle rustling is something noble to do for their youth while others consider the action as a violation of the rights of people whose animals are stolen by the rustlers.

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