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Opinions of Friday, 8 September 2006

Columnist: J. A. Fukuor/Daily Dispatch

Letter From The Prez: Is this Decentralization?

Countrymen and women, loyalists and opponents
I wonder how many of you are aware of the impending district level elections. From what I hear, most of you are unaware. Also, quite a significant number of the few who know about the September 26 polls has no intention of casting ballots. (The polls were originally scheduled for September 12, but were postponed this week).
The public apathy in the district level elections is one of the many systemic failures in Sikaman. It’s the clearest indication yet that our efforts at taking governance to the grassroots (also known as bottom-to-top governance or decentralization) have failed. The idea was for people to be able to make their own laws at the district level, initiate their own development programmes (through the district assemblies) -- essentially govern themselves with central government providing the finances to support such initiatives. This is my fickle mind’s simplest definition of the decentralization programme.