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Kibwana puts Corrupt Government Officials on Notice as he meets Contractors

Makueni Governor Prof Kivutha Kibwana has told contractors working on county projects that his government will not tolerate any form of corruption and shoddy jobs.

He said the county will deal ruthlessly with staff found engaging in malpractices and urged businessmen awarded contracts to report any extortion attempts by county staff directly to his office.

The governor was speaking at Acacia Hotel in Wote during a meeting with major contractors awarded tenders by the department of roads, transport and infrastructure.

“We will not tolerate incidences of corruption and blackmail. I urge you to report cases of corruption to my office directly. In the past we have been ruthless with corrupt people and even now if we get them we will eject them from the system,”Prof Kibwana said.

He said that they should also report cases of intentional missing files adding that the county government will facilitate contractors to do their jobs and pick their money without any blackmail as long as they have done a good job.

The governor however indicated that the county government has had challenges dealing with some contractors in the past adding that creating a forum where the parties could meet and engage would help address emerging issues.

Said Prof Kibwana:“We have had challenges working with some contractors. It is important to create a platform where we can talk together so that we can understand each other.”

County Secretary Paul Wasanga urged the contractors to employ locals in wards where the contracts are being undertaken as part of the government’s initiative to ensure part of the money goes back to the people.
“When you go to the ground please give some of the jobs to the locals. That way we will get part of the money back to the people.When you do that they will even protect your equipment, ”the CS said.

Roads Executive Committee Member Eng. Sebastian Kyoni who was present warned contractors against sub-letting contracts awarded to them without seeking clearance from the county government.

“When we request full compliance with PMC we urge you to cooperate with us and please don’t compromise the supervision. Where you are required to undertake some tests please comply,” he said.

Finance ECM Mary Kimanzi said the Makueni government has had no problem paying contractors explaining that where paperwork has been properly done payments have been processed in good time.

She however said that drip dropping cash flow and a cumbersome technology has made the process more bureaucratic but added that everything has always been done to ensure payments are processed.

“Because we always work with budget we don’t have a problem paying on time. It is the process that sometimes takes a bit longer,” Ms Kimanzi said

PS warns over Uncontrolled Tree Harvesting as Harsh Climatic Conditions persist

Planning Principal Secretary Dr Julius Muia has warned over irregular harvesting of trees saying it was contributing to harsh environmental conditions currently experienced in Makueni County.

He said the irregular harvests had led to the decreasing woodlots making Ukambani a victim of harsh climatic situations during both rain and sunny seasons.

The PS said that unsustainable harvesting of wood has led to degradation of forests causing the escalation of deforestation, increasing Green House Gas Emissions and land degradation.

He also indicated that water catchment areas are also drying up and timber and charcoal are becoming very expensive.

“We are cutting trees more than we are planting and this has caused several effects like degradation of forests and drying up of water catchment areas,” Dr Muia said.

The PS spoke during the Makueni county afforestation drive at Nduundune primary and secondary schools in Emali.

The Planning PS was accompanied by the county First Lady  Nazi Kivutha,officials from Kenya Forestry Service and  several representatives from  various development partners who also  took part in planting approximately 30,000 trees in the area.

Dr. Muia further indicated that the county is in arid and semi-arid zone of Kenya and proposed the initiation of a sustainable Citizen Centered Afforestation and Conservation Initiative that will encourage every village to have a big tree nursery as well as support watering and caring.

“We all know that Makueni is not favoured by climate therefore it is important for us to innovate an appropriate program that will support afforestation despite the foregoing weather challenges,” said the PS.

Nazi who also took part in the drive called upon everyone and especially pupils to plant trees on annual basis revealing that together with Governor Kivutha Kibwana they had already planted 800 trees in their home during the current wet season.

“I urge all our pupils to treat trees as their pets and plant a tree every year. The governor and I have planted 800 trees this season,” Nazi stated.

Her sentiments were echoed by Makueni County Commissioner Mohammed Maalim who also present at the event saying that together with the county government they had already planted 160,000 trees in the county.

Other County officials who took part in the drive include executive committee members for water and roads, Robert Kisyula and Eng. Sebastian Kyoni respectively and chief officer for natural resources and climate change Mary Mbenge.

Kibwana, Mutua in Handshake to cool off Past Political Differences

Makueni governor Prof Kivutha Kibwana and his Machakos counterpart Dr Alfred Mutua have publicly reconciled their past political differences promising to work together.

The two who spoke during a funds drive  in aid of Shine Star Secondary school in Makindu said they will work together to develop the community calling on other leaders to join them.

Prof Kibwana and Dr Mutua worked for different political groupings in the last General

Elections forcing them to vigorously campaign against each other.

The Makueni governor who is also the chairman of Wiper party was at the forefront campaigning for Nasa in the region while Dr Mutua who is the Maendeleo Chap Chap leader worked for the ruling Jubilee Party.

It was Dr Mutua who twinkled first extending a public handshake to a willing Prof Kibwana during the event at Makindu sending the crowd into cheers.

“I want to ask Governor Kivutha Kibwana to forgive me for any wrongs I might have committed against him and again request him for a handshake as a sign of unity,” Dr Mutua said

The two governors shook hands with Dr Mutua asking for political forgiveness and vowed to forge a purposeful unity for the betterment of locals.

Prof  Kibwana said that he was in agreement with Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka that there was no need for Ukambani leaders to engage in political fights adding that it was time to focus on development.

He further said that as the wiper chairman he had no intentions of blocking Dr Mutua from contesting the presidency in 2022

“As the chairman of Wiper, I am in agreement with our party leader who recently said that we don’t have to fight here at home. I know you are both hunting, we are not blocking anyone,” Prof Kibwana said.

Governor Mutua reiterated that his ambition to contest the presidency in 2022 was on course.

“After 10 years as a governor in Machakos, I will be seeking your support to become President come 2022, just like a student who after form four proceeds to the university,” Dr Mutua said.

Devolve Children Services: Kyathe

Youth, Gender, Culture, Sports and Social Services Chief Officer Jonah Kyathe on Friday urged the national government to devolve children services in order to make it easier to handle their cases effectively at the grassroots.

Kyathe said that counties have no budget  to address children affairs adding that the county only compliments what the national government does because children services are not devolved.

“The budget to manage the affairs of our children is at the national level and as such it is difficult to effectively deal with arising cases  at the grassroots effectively.  Our children are here with us not in Nairobi and we therefore urge the national government to devolved children services,” Kyathe said.

Kyathe who spoke during a stakeholders’ training workshop on sensitization and formation of sub-county child protection committees in Wote observed that most of the children’s cases are not reported because their perpetrators are family members.

He further indicated that many people do not know the relevant authorities to report children cases and called for intense training to members in order to be equipped with relevant information on children cases.

“Most of the children cases go unreported because they are committed by close family members while others are never reported simply because our people do not know where to report such cases. We there need a lot of training on the same,” he added.

The training also  oversaw formation of sub- county children protection committees across the county. The committees will over and above be responsible for detection, response and also address children abuse cases.

The executive committee member for Youth and Gender Dr. Godfrey Makau who also attended the workshop said that the county government was in the process of formulating a county child protection policy to guide the county on matters children.

He further called upon the national government and other key stakeholder to work together towards promoting the rights of children in order to avoid duplicate of roles when addressing the same issue.

“We are in the process of formulating a county child protection policy and we urge the national government to partner with us so that we avoid duplication of roles when we are addressing the same issues of our children,” the ECM said.

His sentiments were echoed by Makueni County Co-coordinator, Children services Celestine Nthiani who was doing a presentation on overview of child protection and the roles of the child protection committees.

“If we need to go far, we need to work together as institutions in order to protect our children who are our future,” Ms. Nthiani observed.

Other officials who graced the training workshop include Jane Makau, County director for gender and representatives from Faith Based Organisations and other non state actors.

We Require Ksh. 1 Billion to Recover From Floods Havoc: Kibwana

Governor Kivutha Kibwana and senator Mutula Kilonzo Jnr on Monday led a consultative meeting with Makueni leaders to strategise on how to handle emergency response following deadly floods in the county.

Addressing the forum Prof Kibwana said that the county will require Sh 1 billion to support full recovery from the devastating effects of the havoc that has caused 17 deaths and massive displacement of persons.

According to a report by the county government on the effect of the disaster, 26 dams have been breached, houses collapsed and crops destroyed.

The report further indicates that Sh 205 million is required to repair all the water projects damaged by the floods while Sh 282 million is required to repair damaged roads under the county jurisdiction.

“We estimate the cost of complete repairs and restoration of people’s livelihoods will be over Sh 2 billion,”Prof Kibwana said.

Adding that Sh 500 million is required immediately to facilitate immediate repair works in order to restore normalcy.

The government Prof Kibwana said will be forced to review its 2018-2019 budget in order to focus on addressing the damages and losses caused by the rains.

He said: “We will have to inevitably review and where possible suspend some of the development projects earlier included in our 2018-2019 budget so as to enable us facilitate a recovery plan.”

Prof Kibwana said that the decision to divert the budget plan is painful but one that is a necessary sacrifice.

The governor and the Senator together with members of parliament, members of the county assembly and the county executives agreed to form a committee to coordinate emergency response and avert further loss of lives, property and human suffering out of the raging floods.

The committee was formed on Monday in a meeting of all elected leaders within the county and other stakeholders to draw a roadmap for a united response to the flooding catastrophe.

The committee will among other tasks define priority areas for response, define flood zones along rivers and evacuate where possible, mobilization of the general public to contribute to support the emergency responses as well as lobby other partners to support response initiatives.

The committee comprises of the Governor, County Secretary, CECs (Lands, Finance, Roads, Health, Devolution and Water), Office of the senator, KeRRA, Red Cross, Office of County Commissioner, Security, Clerk of County Assembly, NDMA, All MPs or their representatives and office of the County Representative.

The governor said the county government has already developed a disaster communication structure and protocol which includes a toll free line manned by Kenya Red Cross, short code (40014) for two way messaging as well as establishment of a disaster command center.

Mr Mutula asked local leaders to unite in order to jointly tackle the flood crisis adding that mobilization of relief support from all quarters was necessary.

“We must work together on this one so that we mobilise as much resources as possible for us to succeed,” he said.

The Senator urged the local county assembly to allow passage of an emergency fund in order to make government response to special programs much easier.

“This emergency funds we are talking about must be passed now.MCAs have been resistant but I think it is important and must be considered,” he said.

Kibwana Forms Committee to Deal with Floods Crisis

Governor Kivutha Kibwana has formed an inter-departmental committee to coordinate and address emergency responses on the flooding disaster that has hit the County.

Kibwana who had to cut short his stay at the 5th devolution conference in Kakamega to address the disaster at home on Wednesday dispatched a team of executive committee members to various sub- counties to assess the damage and interventions required to restore normalcy from the flooding disaster.

So  far, 24 earth dams across the county have breached  and washed away resulting into a serious water challenges. Boreholes, water pumps, water pipelines and kiosks have also been damaged leaving the affected residents with no water access.

In a preliminary report on the extend of the flooding damage, released by Governor Kibwana on Thursday, water resources worth more than Sh 300 million have been lost to the raging floods in the county.

“We are facing a real disaster in Makueni. I have personally witnessed acres of crop that have been flattened, uprooted water pipelines and sumps.This is a huge damage that so far is estimated at Sh 300 million on water resources alone,” he said.

He said seven lives had been lost to the disaster so far.

Governor Kibwana said his government will distribute mattresses and foodstuffs to those displaced from their homes as a temporary measure, while lobbying non governmental organisations, the national government and other partners to come up with long term solutions to the flooding menace.

“We are in talks with the KeNHA, KeRRA, Red Cross, NDMA and other support groups to undo the damage especially on roads, bridges, water resources and resettlement of Internally Displaced People.

He said at least Sh 2  billion will be required to restore normalcy across all affected sectors in the entire county.

He spoke at Nguu ward during a tour of the affected families.

Kibwana, Senator Meet Leaders Over Flooding Crisis

Makueni County leaders led by Governor Prof Kivutha Kibwana on Wednesday met to deliberate on how to mitigate the effects of heavy flooding in parts of the county occasioned ‎by the current heavy rains.

The leaders discussed emergency response to restore normalcy after several households were affected and at least four people killed by the raging floods.

During the meeting which happened on the sidelines of the Kakamega devolution conference ,Prof Kibwana said that concerted efforts by all elected leaders was required to address the ongoing catastrophic floods.

“Lets bring on board even our members of the national assembly to save our people from this emergency,” said the governor.

While  addressing the meeting, senator Mutula Junior encouraged  MCAs  to initiate talks with the MPs despite their political affiliations to face the catastrophy together for the safety of the people of Makueni.

“I know some of us here talk with the MPs. Go  and start talking with them so that we can solve this menace together,” Mutula said.

3,500 Delegates Visit Makueni Exhibition Booth at the Kakamega Devolution Bazaar

The Makueni county exhibition tent at the Kakamega devolution conference was a major attraction throughout the devolution bazaar as delegates and other exhibitors took time out to admire some of the products on show.

About 3,500 delegates signed in at the  county exhibition booth to view exciting documentaries on development and infrastructural progress achieved so far.

The county has been admired by many due to progressive implementation of major development projects.

The mention of Governor Prof Kivutha Kibwana’s name during the conference was always received with massive applause forcing him to always stand and wave to the delegates to acknowledge their good reception.

Many delegates scrambled to greet the governor every time he walked out of the conference venue with hundreds demanding for selfies with Prof Kibwana who has become a devolution superstar.

Yesterday the county deputy health promotion officer Bretta Mutisya who was leading the county exhibitors said the visits to the booth were massive with many coming to watch the documentaries while others sampled some of the products on display.

“We have interacted with so many guests during this conference. My colleagues who came with products have sold them out. People have picked handbooks from here to familiarize with our development story,” said Ms Mutisya.

Some of the products on show included mango jam, juice, makueni fresh milk, various branded original honey and several booklets detailing development projects by the county.

Several governors and top executives attending the conference also passed by the booth to witness the various development projects being showcased.

Many were interested in the mango juice following the story of Makueni Fruit Processing factory while others asked questions on how the county managed an elaborate universal healthcare system with the scanty resources allocated.

On Tuesday,  Makueni became the talk of the conference after President Uhuru Kenyatta made several references to Governor Kivutha Kibwana acknowledging the initiatives implemented under his government.

Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga also echoed the president’s sentiments when he addressed the conference on Wednesday.

Makueni Case Becomes the Reference Point at the 5th Devolution Conference

Development in Makueni County has become a major reference point in this year’s devolution conference with many speakers urging other counties to visit for bench marking.

President Uhuru Kenyatta started it all when in his live televised speech broadcast to delegates through a link acknowledged that Makueni and Mandera counties have made strides worth emulating.

“I commend governor Kibwana for rolling out in Makueni their own version of subsidized healthcare and food processing plant,” said President Kenyatta.

He urged other counties to emulate Makueni County led by Prof. Kivutha Kibwana adding that prudent use of public of funds allocated to county governments was key to successful implementation of devolution.

Prof Kibwana hailed the President for a good speech adding that his invitation to counties to work closely with his government was worthy.

Other speakers at the conference including Homa Bay Senator Moses Kajwang praised Kibwana and urged other counties to benchmark from Makueni instead of flying to foreign countries like Singapore for the same.

“The other day we invited Prof Kibwana to the Senate,he did not complain. He came with his entire government including the speaker and we took a whole day looking at the issues raised. Other governors should follow this,”Mr Kajwang said.

And while making a presentation on governance and public participation at the Conference on Thursday Prof Kibwana said that his decision to attend the senate summons was because the people of Makueni had asked him to do so.

“One of the reasons why we appeared at the Senate when we were summoned is because it is the people who had asked us to go. By failing to go it means we would then get into problems with them,”Prof Kibwana said.

He talked of Makueni’s village to village set up in the public participation approach adding that up to 120,000 people participated in this year’s County Integrated Development Plan validation in over 3,000 villages.

“Some leaders are afraid of the Public Participation because the people will ask you questions when you go to them,” said Prof Kibwana.

He also said that Makueni  County  will, as a way of enhancing the public participation approach, initiate an open contracting system so that it is clear who asked for what jobs and who are the directors of the bidding companies.

Deputy Governor Adelina Mwau is also attending the conference bringing together multi-sectoral stakeholders in the devolution sector including all governors and senators.

Nazi Signs MoU on Menstrual Hygiene Management

Makueni County First lady Nazi Kivutha on Tuesday signed a Memorandum of Understanding between the County First Ladies Association, African cotton Industries Limited and Kenya Red Cross Society.

The tripartite partnership is geared towards implementing menstrual hygiene management program across all the counties

The main agenda of the MoU is to create awareness on adolescent reproductive health needs and provision of conducive policy and social environment for menstrual management

Nazi, who is also the chairperson to the First Ladies association, said the MoU will create a platform in which the parties will cooperate in the realization of the respective strategies and plans.

“The program will focus on menstrual hygiene management, adolescent sexual and reproductive health education, nutrition education, mentorship and life skills development and policy influence,” the First Lady said.

According to Nazi, the program will be launched on May 3, 2018 before a coordinated implementation can kick off

She said the purpose of the MoU was to lay out the framework for collaboration between the parties adding that it will help promote joint actions by the three groups.

The parties will in accordance with the provisions of the MoU, Nazi said will endeavor to work together and maintain a continuous working relationship.

Activities to be undertaken under the MoU will be identified and jointly implemented by the parties.

Also to be undertaken includes advocacy for reproductive health, campaign against FGM and early childhood marriages among other Gender Based Violence (GBV) issues.

The First Ladies Association will help the group with mobilization of resources, mentorship, coordination and administration of the program