Mombasa Governor Ali Hassan Joho may have been speaking in jest when he threatened to mobilise the county residents to forcibly take over the Kenya Ports of Authority if a law was not be passed to allow it to share its revenue with the county.
What Mr Joho may not have understood was that the statement was likely to excite disaffection with the organisation and create bad blood between its management and the county residents.
Yet he knows pretty well that KPA is a national asset that generates revenue for the National Government and benefits for all citizens.
Its location in Mombasa is a matter of geography and should not be construed as though it gives Coast residents undue advantage over others.
The Fourth Schedule of the Constitution makes a clear distinction between the functions of national and county governments.
In this particular context, regulation of international shipping and what is referred to as related matters are excluded from the purview of the county governments. At best, their role is to manage ferries and harbours that deal with local transportation.
State corporations like KPA and other national institutions are managed by the National Government because they are national resources that are meant to benefit all, and not just the residents of the counties in which they are.
Devolution never meant cannibalisation and the likes of Mr Joho must have got it wrong if that is their understanding.
A situation where every governor stands up and makes claim over a national asset within his area of jurisdiction would easily translate into anarchy.
Political leaders like Mr Joho ought to be careful with their public pronouncements and avoid reckless statements that may foment chaos.
Source: Daily Nation
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