In a recent meeting at the National Assembly, the Senate President expressed support for granting traditional rulers a constitutional role in governance. Citing his background, he acknowledged that the request for such involvement is not unfamiliar to him, as his late grandfather served as a traditional ruler and played a significant role as a warrant officer during the colonial era, aiding in implementing indirect rule.
The Senate President highlighted the historical effectiveness of traditional rulers in addressing issues of safety and security within their domains during the colonial period. He emphasized that by constitutionally engaging these monarchs in governance at the grassroots level, the country’s numerous security challenges could become a thing of the past.
“My late grandfather was a traditional ruler and, in fact, one of the warrant officers used by the colonial masters for effective implementation of indirect rule.
“During the period, traditional rulers effectively tackled issues of safety and security in their various domains.
“It is my belief, and the entire Senate leadership here, that if traditional rulers are constitutionally engaged in governance at the grassroots, the myriad of security challenges facing the country would be things of the past.”
Describing traditional rulers as invaluable “reservoirs of information” at the grassroots level, the Senate President recognized their potential to contribute significantly to the decision-making processes in governance. He assured the assembled delegation that their journey to advocate for this constitutional role would not be in vain.
“Your journey to us today on the request would surely not be in vain,” he assured.
The proposal for granting constitutional powers to traditional rulers is not new. A similar effort was made in the 9th National Assembly, but it failed to secure the required votes in the Senate, despite succeeding in the House of Representatives.
“The most recent of such efforts was the one made during the 9th National Assembly, which didn’t scale through due to the failure to get the required votes in the Senate for the demand despite succeeding in the House of Representatives,” he said.
With the current Senate President’s support and the backing of the Senate leadership, there is renewed hope for realizing this long-standing aspiration of traditional rulers. If successful, this move could lead to a more decentralized approach to governance, tapping into the knowledge and expertise of local leaders to tackle challenges at the grassroots level effectively. However, it remains to be seen how this proposal will fare in the legislative process and whether it will garner the necessary support from lawmakers to become a constitutional reality.