SPEECH BY H.E. PROF. KIVUTHA KIBWANA, GOVERNOR OF MAKUENI COUNTY DURING MADARAKA DAY CELEBRATIONS ON 1ST JUNE, 2014
Fellow Makueni Residents,I great you all.Today is when we relive and celebrate our awakening to life and freedom some 51 years ago. It is a privilege to be with you on this happy occasion.We have assembled here today to celebrate the 51st anniversary since our attainment of freedom and internal self-rule as a Nation. As a citizen of Kenya, and a resident of Makueni County, I am humbled to stand before you and address this gathering as the first Governor of Makueni County.Brothers and sisters,friends and familiesWe are profoundly aware of the circumstances that made this day possible 51 years ago.
The struggle that began to liberate this Nation from colonialism was not easy. As we enjoy the freedoms great men and women of the Akamba resistance who shed blood and suffered to bestow on future generations of this land, we are reminded that the struggle is not over.The struggle is not over until people will afford, food, clothing and housing; The struggle is not over until our people will afford quality education for our education, The struggle is not over until we get tarmacked and all weather roads, The struggle is not over until our youth and women have opportunities for employment. Indeed the struggle is not over until Makueni County gets safe, reliable water for drinking.
However, the new constitution which provides devolved County government is a major step towards overcoming these struggles. Hogera tena kwa wana Makueni waliopiga kura kupitisha katiba mpya.On this day, therefore, we take stock of the journey that we have travelled thus far as a nation, but most importantly as a County. Let us do this with the drive and ambition to keep alive the dream of Syokimau, Syotune wa Kathukye, Muindi Mbingu, Paul Ngei, JD Kali, and Malu of Kilungu. The dream of liberating ourselves from that of poverty, ignorance and disease in the 30 wards, the 6 constituencies and inMakueni in County.
Fellow Residents of Makueni,Today, ladies and gentlemen, we can confidently report that there has been marked improvement in the lives of our people, even though a lot more remains to be done.We have no other desire than to take care of our people and to liberate them from the shackles of ignorance, poverty and disease. My government cannot stress enough the urgency with which we want to do development for and with the people. Our priority remains to use development projects to liberate the people of Makueni County from the difficult social and economic situations they find themselves.
Despite the challenges, differences and obstacles we went through during the last 2013/2014 budget making process, I can say with confidence that Makueni County, both executive and assembly is steering in the right directions. As a county government we have undertaken various policy initiatives aimed at turning around the potential of this County.Ladies and gentlemen,Permit me now to highlight the policies, measures and actions my government is taking to ensure prosperity for all of us and future generations.
The Department of Youth, Gender and Social Services Department, is engaged in talent development, The Manifesto spells the need to harness talents as a way of promoting economic and social development. In this regard, my government is currently developing a Talent Academy. The academy will nurture and mentor talents including athletics, music, theatre, craftwork and sports.In this spirit the department organized a talent scouting exercise through the Makueni Governors‟ Champions Cup overseen by renowned football coach Mohammed Kheri who reported that Makueni County has a lot of potential as far as sport talent is concerned.
Further, to promote Arts and sporting activities, the department has undertaken construction of social halls and heavy grading of over 20 playing fields in public schools and public amenities in various wards.In capacity building and support to youth, my government is currently sponsoring training of more than 2,100 boda boda riders across the county to acquire motor cycle driving licenses as well as formation of SACCO Societies to promote their investment capacity.In the Education and Civic Education Department, my government disbursed bursary support worth Kshs. 10,815,000 to secondary, tertiary, and university levels as support to learners.
We have introduced scholarship program for very needy and high qualified students, we have this year fully sponsored twenty (20) students. In the next financial year, we wish to allocate more funds considering that educated society translates into development.Further, we have the employed 900 Early Childhood Education Teachers to facilitate the impact of good education in our children from the onset. We are currently constructing over 45 modern early childhood centers to ensure our children start school in a conducive environment.
Civic education is a devolved function and is provided for in the constitution of Kenya. We have conducted civic education programs throughout the county to ensure that our people are informed. We have conducted seven (7) civic education trainings; one at every sub-county. In deed we have 90 civic educators, 3 in each ward who assist in educating the public.In Agriculture, Livestock and Food Security Department, my government focused to value addition in respective agricultural produce and livestock .
The department has invested in the installation of Milk Coolers in Ilima, Mukuyuni, andconstruction of livestock yards at various market centres including, Kitise,Mavindini, Kavuthu, , Kithuluni, Ulilinzi, Mbuinzau, Kambu, Kako, Mbumbuni , Kathulumbi and Kalawa As you may know, I recently launched the Fruit Processing Plant in Kalamba, Nzaui/Kalamba Ward. It is worth noting statistics indicate that Nzaui, Kalamba and Nziu regions are the leading producers of fruits in Makueni County. As such, economies of scale dictate factories are located near raw materials. It is on this background that the processing plant was located in that region of the county.
However, I propose construction of “cold storage warehouses” in other fruit producing areas, as may be identified. The cold storage warehouses approach will protect farmers from negative forces of supply and demand which makes farmers sell their mangoes and fruits at throwaway prices.Today is exactly ten days since I launched fruit processing initiative and I want to confirm the following programmes are taking place towards realizing this flagship project: Survey and design for a dam and borehole for supply of water to the processing plant and the local community, Environmental Impact Assessment study, contracting for cold storage warehouses, administration block, consultancies for site plan and setting up the plant are now ongoing.
In the Water, Irrigation and Environment Department, the provision of clean drinking water remains my government‟s topmost priority. We have invested in water projects and conservation of our water resources across the County.So far, the government has invested in rehabilitating stalled and non-performing water projects to a tune of kshs.100 Million-contractors are on site or mobilizing in view to conclude by end of June 2014. Among others are Isololo, Mukundi, Nzueni Kwinyithya Kiw‟u, Kinyambu/Kilungu, Kamunyuni Dam, Kyaani pipeline, Machinery borehole, Komboyoo borehole, Ivuso Earth dam, Ituumo sand dam, Miamba borehole, Kwa Mutia sand dam, Miumoni sand dam, Kyanginywa sand dam and numerous other projects across the County.We are investing over 30 million to ensure residents of Wote and the County Headquarters get safe, reliable and affordable soft water from Kamunyoolo dam and Kaiti sand dam.
So far, 40 Kilometers of distribution network has been done within the town. I call upon all property owners to install plumbing works without exception to connect to the distribution lines. As many of you know residents of Emali-Mulala, Kasikeu and Kiimakiuiu-Kalanzoni wards have been denied Nol-Turesh water for over two years due to impunity and illegal irrigation along the main line. Senator Mutula Kilonzo Jr, Hon. Regina Ndambuki and myself worked tirelessly to restore rightful supply to the affected residents. County government paid Kshs. 2 million to facilitate restoration of normal water supply to Emali, Mulala, SultanHamud, Salama , Malili and adjoining areas. As a result the cost of accessing safe and adequate water has dropped from 20/- to 2/- for a 20 liters jerrican.
Further, my government has invested Kshs. 166 million to purchase three sets of earth dam making equipment, each set comprising of a D6 dozer, tipper and excavator. In the next financial year, with the approval of the Makueni county Assembly, we plan to procure another three sets so that each Sub-county will have earth dam set.In the Lands and Urban Planning Department, My government has in the past 3 months surveyed all plots in Wote, Mtito Andei, Sultan Hamud, Emali and Makindu. This means that plot owners in these towns will soon be issued with title documents for their plots, which will enable them to borrow from banks and grow their businesses among other benefits.In order to facilitate issuance of title deeds to our people, the department has fast-tracked the completion of adjudication cases in 5 adjudication sections in Kaiti and Mbooni Sub-Counties. The government will in the month of June issue title deeds free of charge to over 5,000 households who have been unable to pay for and obtain title deeds due to poverty.
The right to a clean and healthy environment is one of the social rights granted every citizen under Article 42 of the Constitution of Kenya 2010. In a bid to ensure this right for the people of Makueni, the department is undertaking planning of all towns within the County to ensure that they grow into clean, well-organized urban centres offering a conducive environment for business and residence. In Wote town, the County headquarters, the department is paving the town to create parking lots. This, plus designated areas for „boda bodas‟, kiosk owners, Taxis, Juakali artisans, and other businesses will ensure orderly development of the town. Kikima, Nunguni , Salama, Kibwezi, Matiliku, Kalamba, Kasikeu, Tawa, Mbumbuni, Kambu, Kathonzweni and 5 other small markets will also be fully planned by the end of June 2014.
In this new constitutional dispensation, the department continues to engage with the National Land Commission and other players in national government in matters relating to land. In this regard my government recently convened a meeting of all leaders of the County to discuss the perceived dispute over the location of Konza city, which we all know is in Makueni County. At this meeting a Committee to be led by the Senator Mutula Kilonzo Jnr. was put in place to engage the national government to fast-track the development of the Konza City.
I wish to inform you that, Konza City, which is a vision 2030 flagship project, is squarely in Makueni County.In the Department of Trade, Industry, Tourism and Cooperatives, my government is putting up 14 market sheds in Kinyambu, Kibwezi, Kathonzweni, Kathakya, Kasikeu, Kambu, Kikumini, Kalongo, Mbumbuni, Tuvilani, Kalawa, Kiboko, Mbuinzau, Kithungo and Itangini markets. These sheds will improve the hygiene, security and attract business.We are also constructing Kiboko and MbuiNzau Handicraft stalls to promote sale of handicrafts. The Iviani, Itumbule cultural sites, Kikumbulyu heritage centre, Masamukye wellness spa , Nzaui hills cultural project ,Makongo observation site and A.I.C. Kalamba Peter Scott Museum are being developed as tourist sites to form part of the county tourist circuit.
My government believes in the people and more so organized groups and it is to this end that we are revitalizing 16 dormant cooperatives and have registered about 30 new cooperatives. Capacity building is also ongoing with sensitization of members in 70 Cooperatives in aspects of good governance, value chain addition and sustainability of SACCO Societies.In the Department of Healthcare Services, When I assumed office a barrage of incomplete health facilities dotted the county. Today I am proud to note that we have completed 39 stalled dispensaries, equipped and stocked them with drugs. They are manned by a nurse and this has reduced immensely the distances covered to access health care services.
My Government has allocated up to Kshs.200 million towards purchase of drugs and non pharmaceuticals. This has ensured a good supply of these commodities there by restoring the confidence of our patients in our health care system. We have transformed the county referral system by procuring 4 by 4 wheel drive twelve heavy duty ambulances with each sub county being served by two. We are currently setting up an ambulance command centre with a dedicated toll free short code number available to our clients for easy access of service.
Kenya Medical Training College-Makueni is now officially opened and the first class of nursing students is in session. My Government provided the infrastructure and equipped the college besides seconding tutors from to the institution. We shall continue partnering with the KMTC Board towards improving the Makueni campus and setting up the approved Makindu campus. By the end of June 2104 we will employ additional 8 Doctors, 85 nurses, 21 clinical officers, and pharmaceutical and medical laboratory technologists among others. We are building Theatres at Sultan Harmed,Kilungu , Tawa and Kibwezi Sub county Hospitals .
Additionally we are building a modern Trauma centre with twin theatres at Makindu hospital and a modern maternity wing in Makueni County Referral Hospital. X- ray blocks are being set up in Kilungu and Sultan Hamud Hospitals. 5 new dispensaries are being constructed with others being renovated.
We at this juncture restate our commitment to making Makueni County a model county in health care provision .We shall endeavor to continuously improve all aspects of our healthcare system in order to give world class service to the esteemed residents of Makueni .
In Infrastructure, Transport and Energy Department, it is worth noting that road transport has been a problem within Makueni County for a long time now. We are further faced with the challenge that not all the roads within the county have been devolved. Class C and D roads which should have been devolved by now are still under national government-under control of KERRA. Therefore, the County Government has not been allocated funds to manage class C and D roads. However, the government allocated Kshs. 2 million in every ward to facilitate light grading of class E and feeder roads. So far, we have hired 17 graders, that is, one grader in every two wards since April, 2014.
Currently approximately, over 900Kms have been graded with 300kms remaining. To ensure continuous maintenance of roads My government has purchased road equipments comprising of; 2 Graders,2 Rollers,2 Tippers and2 Backhoe loaders worth Kshs. 94 million which are on shipment. To promote security during early morning and late night trading in market centres, County Government is installing street lighting and floodlighting in Wote town,Nunguni, Mukuyuni, Kikima, Tawa, Mbumbuni, Kathonzweni, Matiliku, Mtito Andei, Kambu, Kibwezi,Emali, Kasikeu towns as well as Malili which is the newest town and fastest growing next to the forthcoming Konza city which is located in Makueni county.In the Finance and Socio-economic Planning Department, my government has ensured effective management of public finances. This is through encouraging prudent use of resources and my unwavering policy of Zero tolerance to corruption. Over the last one year, my government has undertaken various policy initiatives aimed at turning around the fortunes of this County.
We have invested in our various sectors varying amounts of resources to meet our development expenditures across each Ward and the County a whole. In terms of channeling funds to Ward specific development initiatives, my government invested a total of Kshs 558 million in Agriculture, Health, Water, Land, Gender, Transport, Trade and the Education Sectors. As you are aware each ward received a total of Kshs. 18,500,000.00 with exception of Kikumbulyu North and Kikumbulyu South which received an extra Kshs. 1,000,000.00 making the total to those wards Kshs. 19,500,000.00 each. This attempt has enabled us in this financial year as well as in the future implement development projects on the basis of equality and equity.
My Government has ensured citizens in every Ward participate in identifying projects as we move towards promoting ownership and sustainability of the projects. The budget for Financial Year 2013/2014 delayed about four months due to negotiations between the Executive and the Assembly. As such, we lost four months and our County budget was approved November last year by the Controller of the Budget. However,I wish to draw to your attention to the fact that government money is divided into two components,that is,the development fund and the operations and maintenance fund; development funds are meant for the finance development projects.
The operations and maintenance funds are meant for the day to day office running expenses for example, seminars, motor vehicle fuel, catering services, travelling costs and allowances, office stationery among other expenses. To date all the development funds have been committed to ensure smooth project implementation. I want to highlight that we have made savings on the operations and by avoiding unnecessary expenses. It is my believe as the Governor of Makueni County that public resources should not be spent for purposes of beating deadlines at the expense of mwananchi. I am reliably informed by the Public Management and Finance Act, Controller of Budget, Commission on Revenue Allocation and on my own understanding of laws of Kenya that once funds have been allocated to the Counties, such allocations cannot be returned to the national government.
Money that has not been spent is retained in the County and is appropriated for use in the following financial year. I strongly believe that Government institutions should not be evaluated on how fast they spent money but rather on how money has been spent to change the lives of Wananchi.I shall at all times safeguard public resources for purposes of planned, coordinated and worthy development. In the next financial year 2014/2015 we will seek the county assembly to appropriate savings from 2013/2014 budget to water projects in each ward. I wish to point out that our focus next financial year is a transformative budget through the water sector support.
MAY GOD BLESS KENYA. GOD BLESS MAKUENI COUNTY. TO EVERY HOUSE, PROSPERITY “O KILA NYUMBA KALILA”