Speech of H.E Prof.Kivutha Kibwana, Governor, Makueni County, Mashujaa Day, 20th October 2016

The People of Makueni County,
Honourable Elected Leaders of Our People,
The County Commissioner, Makueni,
Fellow Compatriots,
Distinguished Guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen:

Today we celebrate our heroes and heroines. As we celebrate those who fought for the first liberation (our Mau Mau veterans) and bequeathed us independence from colonial rule, let us also celebrate those who fought for the second liberation and our everyday heroes and heroines at  the  family  level,  entrepreneurship  and  industry, the  arts  and music,  sports, scholarship, philanthropy,  information  communications  and  technology  (ICT), leadership,  environment conservation, the education sector and other socio-cultural and economic sectors.

Allow me to briefly indulge you in a reflection on heroism as I argue the case for a reflection on the necessary policy and legal framework for celebrating our heroes and heroines in the County. A hero or heroine is a person who is admired for great or brave acts, fine or noble qualities, and special or outstanding achievements and abilities. They are also regarded as role models.
Let us briefly reflect on the following:

  • According to you who is an hero or heroine?
  • Are there heroes or heroines in your Village, Ward, Sub County and County?
  • What qualities do they have that makes them heroes or heroines?

We must therefore begin unpacking and defining what constitutes great and brave acts, fine or noble qualities and special or outstanding achievements and abilities at the  family level, in entrepreneurship and industry, in the arts and music, in sports, scholarship, philanthropy, information communications and technology {ICT), leadership, environment conservation, in the education sector, in the public service, in governance and in other socio-cultural and economic sectors. Through this  process  we  will  arrive  at  an  objective  criteria  for the  identification, selection and declaration of heroes and heroines in our County. This will also inform the forms of recognition and honours including provisions for withdrawal of such honours in case of any aberrations.

In essence, those we celebrate as heroes and heroines must espouse the highest humane qualities and must inspire others towards bettering the human condition. Heroes and heroines must be outstanding patriots who care for the common good. Indeed, they must espouse all-encompassing leadership that empowers people and places them at the centre of development. This is why in Africa we  celebrate the  following among  other Nobel  laureates: Nelson  Mandela, Wangari Maathai, Desmond Tutu, Wole Soyinka and J.M. Coetzee.

I therefore instruct the County Executive Committee (CEC) Member for Youth, Gender, Sports and Social Services to work closely with the CEC Member for Devolution and Public Service and facilitate consultations with various stakeholders including the relevant committee of our County Assembly towards the development of a Makueni County Heroes and Heroines Policy and Draft Bill  for the  consideration of the  County Assembly.  This process  should seek to domesticate The Kenya Heroes Act, 2014 while addressing County-specific realities and providing avenues for intergenerational learning and mentoring of young and aspiring leaders by the heroes and heroines of yore.

I am convinced that by regularly (annually) recognizing and honouring our heroes and heroines, we will nurture a visionary leadership at all levels that is required to take the County to its goals for 2025 and beyond.  This process will  also act as a catalyst for change in the  society. I encourage all our citizens to aspire and live a life befitting of heroes or heroines as we look forward to institutionalizing a system of recognizing and honouring those who inspire others and better the human condition.

Fellow Compatriots,

Your government has recorded outstanding achievements despite the initial drawbacks. The following are some of these achievements: in the last year of implementing the first County Integrated Development Plan (CIDP), we have launched the Makueni County Vision 2025, a 10 year development blueprint that aims at socio-economic transformation for the people of the County by the year 2025.  As a government, we reiterate our commitment to deliver our people from extreme hunger, poverty, disease and unemployment through fulfilment of the aspirations of Vision 2025.

Since l " May 2016,  all those aged 65 years and above are being treated for free in our health facilities. We have also launched and are implementing the Universal Health Care Programme that now makes health care accessible to all.

We have also institutionalized a working public participation framework that assures the exercise of the popular power and sovereignty of the people, and also popular representation in the structures from the village to the  County level that  interface continuously with government processes and programmes. This framework benefits from the extensive civic education programme that the government has implemented.

The  government  is  also  rated  highly  in:  the  planning  of  towns  and  urban  centres;  the development and passing of the Makueni County Climate Change Fund Regulations, 2015; the implementation  of performance  contracting; the  establishment  and provision  of  counselling services to staff and citizens; and the provision of psycho-social support to vulnerable groups. All these are milestones towards the realization of the shared vision of a prosperous value based County with a high quality of life.

We assure you that all our development projects being implemented through the Departments of Agriculture, Livestock  and Fisheries;  Devolution  and  Public  Service;  Education  and  ICT; Finance and Socio-Economic Planning; Health Services; Lands, Mining and Physical Planning; Roads,  Transport  and  Infrastructure;  Trade,  Industry, Tourism  and Cooperatives; Water, Irrigation and Environment; and Youth, Gender, Sports and Social Services are on course.

On behalf of our government and all our people, I extend our heartfelt appreciation to you all for the continued support that you have accorded us. We assure you that as a government we aspire for outstanding achievement in service delivery and all development projects we implement. We look forward to a favourable rating of our performance. I wish you a Happy Mashujaa Day.

I thank you for your attention.

Kivutha Kibwana,