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date: 05 June 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The chapter discusses how devolution has played out in the former Central Province of Kenya, comprising the counties of Kiambu, Kirinyaga, Murang’a, Nyandarua, and Nyeri. Devolution was a controversial provision of the Kenyan Constitution, and many in central Kenya believed during its early stages that its costs outweighed its benefits. Further, because most voters backed Uhuru Kenyatta for the presidency, there was not the same desire for local self-government as elsewhere in the country. Central Kenya therefore represents the extreme test of the devolution model—if it is to be said to have become a permanent feature of Kenyan political life, it must be embraced there too. Taking this as the challenge, the chapter finds that, somewhat surprisingly, the new local government structure has been strongly endorsed by citizens and politicians of central Kenya due to the culture of localised self-sufficiency that endures within the traditions of the Kikuyu community.

Keywords: devolution, decentralization, Kikuyu, Kiambu, Kirinyaga, Murang’a, Nyandarua, Nyeri

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