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President Kenyatta commends Makueni’s Value Addition initiatives

President Uhuru Kenyatta on Tuesday lauded Makueni for its life changing value addition initiatives geared towards uplifting the standards of living for its citizens.

The president was awestruck by the County’s empowerment programmes aimed at wealth creation when he visited its exhibition booth at the 2019 Devolution Conference, staged at Kirinyaga University.

The head of state purchased carvings worth Ksh 30,000 from Makueni exhibitors.

Kenyatta was hosted at the Makueni booth by Governor Kivutha Kibwana alongside the county exhibitors.

Community stakeholders inducted on development best practices

At least 2000 development stakeholders from across the county on Thursday were inducted on development best practices geared towards mindset change for sustainable development.

According to Governor Kibwana who presided over the event at ATC-Kwakathoka, the paradigm shift in development will entail moving from doing small projects everywhere with little impact to medium and mega projects and programmes with bigger impact.

This is aimed at intensifying the trickledown effect of projects and programmes and achieving economies of scale. This will be coupled with the value for money principle.

Kibwana further noted that it makes economic sense when projects and programmes are jointly funded in regions that experience the same development needs and have both similar geographic and demographic characteristics.

This involves moving from ward or Sub-County specific kind of development to inter-ward or inter-sub-county development implementation.

One of the key objectives of this development paradigm shift is moving from focusing on the completeness of a project to the utility and benefits accruing to the citizens.

“We are not only interested in the completeness of projects but their impacts. We must make our programmes and projects meet the needs of our citizens, it is a commitment we have resolved to deliver,” said Kibwana.

The event was also graced by deputy governor Adelina Mwau, Makueni MP Daniel Maanzo, members of the County Executive Committee and the County Assembly.

Nordic Ambassadors in Makueni to learn about the County’s devolution success stories

Governor Kivutha Kibwana and his deputy Adelina Mwau on Tuesday hosted ambassadors from Denmark, Sweden, Finland and Norway who are in Makueni to learn about the county’s devolution success stories.

Finland Ambassador to Kenya Erik Lundberg cited that the county’s outstanding performance in devolution under the leadership of governor Kibwana was the driving force behind the visit.

He said: “We wanted to visit Makueni for many reasons but primarily we are impressed by the good work you have been doing in many areas.”

Mr. Lundberg further said that they had come to learn the success stories that Makueni has to share with the rest of the county adding that it was an opportunity for both parties to share experiences and learn from each other.

Mette Knudsen, his Danish counterpart applauded the county’s model of public participation, that starts from the villages up to the county level, saying that it was worth their support.

“We think Makueni county is a place where the leadership wants to make some change for their people and they have a very positive way of engaging the population and that is worth supporting,” Knudsen said.

Knudsen was also impressed by the new Mother and Child facility that was launched last week by the county government saying that it was a milestone worth emulation by the other counties.

Although devolution had its own challenges, Governor Kibwana said they were faithful to article 1 of the 2010 constitution adding that it is an important strength when development is owned and driven by the people.

Involve the citizenry in legislative processes: Mwau

Makueni deputy governor Adelina Mwau has urged both the national and county governments to involve local communities in legislative processes.

Although the governments seem to have involved the people in most of their services and activities, the deputy governor said that there remains a gap in integration of their views into laws and policies they develop.

She said: “While the national and county governments seem to have involved the local communities in most of their services, there remains a lot to be done when it comes to engaging the citizenry in the legislative processes.”

Mwau spoke on Thursday at United States International University-Africa when she addressed delegates during the Second Conference on devolution for sustainable development adding that it is only through public participation and civic education that the local communities can be factored in the legislative priorities.

The DG’s sentiments were echoed by URAIA executive director Grace Maingi who also lauded Makueni for having implemented effective public participation, a model that drew several governors for benchmarking last month.

“Public participation and civic education is the way to go to ensure ownership and sustainability of development initiatives. I wish to congratulate Makueni for being successful in this,” Ms Maingi stated.

Mwau further observed that legislature should begin the process by educating the people on their rights and roles so as to be able to provide enlightened feedback.

“It is the high time we thought of delivering to the communities the sustainable development goals as a specific civic education program in order to contribute in the path of fulfilling the Kenya Vision 2030, the DG said.

Uraia to partner with Makueni for Civic Education

Uraia Trust, Kenya’s National Civic Education Programme has pledged its support for a widespread civic education in Makueni.

Uraia Trust Civic Education Manager Abubakar Said pledged the organization would stock a library of civic education materials to aid in civic education within the county.

“We are working on a mission to ensure every household has a constitution, and are versed with its provisions as a way of adding value to devolution.” he said, during a courtesy call to governor Prof Kivutha Kibwana in his office at Wote, Monday.

Kibwana urged the civic education body to push for a translation of the constitution into local dialects, urguing that the language barrier was a huge hinderance to the understanding of the constitution by a majority of Kenyans.

He said many of those who fought for the constitution had forgotten about its implementation.

“Many fought for the constitution but after its promulgation, they forgot that its implementation is a continuous process and there is need for active civic education,” said Kibwana.

“Many ordinary Kenyans are yet to fully understand the constitution because of the language it is written in. Even when we make speeches at the grassroots, we are careful not to speak a lot of English as the people will not follow, and at times they will leave mid way your speech if you bore them,” he told the Uraia trust delegation.

Kibwana said his administration has heavily invested in civic education so that the people are part of the development process, and that they do so from an informed point of view.

“We are not afraid of a citizenry that asks questions and holds us to account. It is better to allow them ask questions now and even quarrel than wait to tell you how useless you were, and how you failed to help them long after you have left power.” said the governor.

Kibwana said his ambition is to formulate a civic education program that educates residents on a holistic social economic development, including health promotion, income generation, agricultural best practices and related initiatives so that residents do not only interact with government officers during budget making only.

Makueni Secures Ksh. 168 Million from World Bank

Makueni County has secured a Ksh168 million grant from the World Bank to advance its devolution development agenda.

The grant, disbursed through the national ministry of Devolution, under the Kenya Devolution Support Programme (KDSP) is meant for capital investments and building capacities for improved devolved service delivery.

Makueni is among 13 counties that have received a total of Sh 1.9 Billion under the programme.

The 13 were competitively selected from the 47 counties upon achievement of respective disbursement linked parameters key among them audited accounts.

Devolution Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa who presented cheques to the qualifying governors urged the county chiefs to channel the funds to the BIG FOUR agenda.

Deputy governor Adelina Mwau has said the funds will be channeled towards key sectors of the county economy such as Water, Agricultural value chain addition and health promotion

Makueni county executive for Finance and Social Economic planning Mary Kimanzi said the cabinet would sit to decide on the projects to invest the grant in, and which will positively impact on the lives of Makueni residents.

The event was held at the Laico Regency hotel in Nairobi.

Kibwana Tips County Lawmakers on Public Participation and Civic Education

Makueni Governor Prof Kivutha Kibwana has urged counties to invest in civic education and public participation as a way of facilitating mindset change and enabling the people to take charge of devolution.

Prof Kibwana said poverty, dependency syndrome and community pulse cannot be overcome without the change of mindsets.

He told the County Assembly Members’ Forum in Mombasa on Thursday that engaging the people through public participation was an easy way of helping grow confidence in the management of devolved resources.

“Counties need to invest in civic education, community capacity building and mindset change programs,” said Prof Kibwana.

He also said that legislators need to devolve power, authority and mandate to community members so that they can plan and decide on the issues that affect them.

Prof Kibwana stated: “County governments have to relinquish to the development committees powers to design priorities and even to execute what can be done at community level.”

He noted that there was need for the county governments to come up with capacity building plans for the development committees saying that the capacities become the basis upon which poverty eradication measures and techniques are discussed.

Prof Kibwana said that public participation is not just about gatherings in town halls and therefore should be handled systematically to provide the real needs and priorities for the communities.

“Communities have the solutions for their problems. They lack the capacity and opportunities to plan for themselves and defend what clearly belong to them,” said the governor.

He further added: “Let us devolve the powers of participation to the communities and watch the poser of self-governance taking over this country through our counties.”

More than 2,000 members of the county assemblies and senators are participating in the forum which started on Monday.