The General Election presents an opportunity for citizens to elect their representatives. On August 8th, 2022, Kenyans braved long ques to elect new leaders at both the national and county government levels, a two-tier governance system brought about by the promulgation of the Constitution 2010.
Ahead of the August 2022 elections, Africa’s Voices collaborated with I Choose Life – Africa (ICL) to use our interactive media methodology during the Machakos Women Representative, Senator, and Governor Aspirants Debates on May 27, 2022 at Machakos University to support citizen voices in the county’s development, electoral, and accountability agenda.
The debates sought to ensure that citizens were meaningfully consulted and their voice, agency and influence duly incorporated in Machakos’ development and governance strategy and planning processes in line with Kenya’s 2010 Constitution public participation requirement.
The debate’s main goals were to foster significant, inclusive, and valued spaces for Machakos residents to participate in the planning of the county’s development priorities for the foreseeable future, giving them a sense of influence over decision-making; to enable inclusive and knowledgeable decision-making by duty bearers; and to improve citizen-authority relations in development planning by helping the county government enact policies that encourage citizen participation. The debates also produced significant data that assisted the aspirants in creating manifestos.
Following successful implementation of the interactive radio and SMS approach during the Machakos county debate, the approach should be replicated in other 46 counties to enable citizens to express their views and help improve the manifestos of the politicians seeking to represent them at the two levels of governments. The approach will enhance citizen participation and inclusivity as enshrined in the constitution 2010.
Photo USAID Amunga Eshuchi