H.E. Mutahi Kahiga

 Governor – Nyeri County

Governor’s Inaugural Speech

Ladies and Gentlemen,

 I am humbled to stand before you, having just sworn to the oath of office as the Fourth Governor of our great county of Nyeri.  I was deeply shocked and saddened by the sudden and untimely death of our Governor, Dr. Wahome Gakuru. This unbearable loss has robbed Nyeri County a jewel in its crown.

I cannot but pay tribute to our late Governor with whom we won the gubernatorial election just less than three months ago, when I contested as his running mate.  I have personally lost a dear friend, a fabulous boss, a cheerful comrade and courageous compatriot. Let me convey my deepest sympathies to Catherine (our County First Lady) and the boys, family, friends, the people of Nyeri and the nation at large.

No words are cogent enough to express our loss from this untimely death. Similarly, no tribute may be elaborate enough to express our determination to live his dream and bring his vision to fruition. May the Lord grant his soul eternal rest!

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The trust and confidence, which you bestowed upon us through the power of your vote, remains a pivotal guide in shaping our daily thoughts and actions. During the few months that I have been working with the late Governor, I can attest that we have been guided by God and the spirit of collegiality in our endevour to fulfill the promises that we made to the people of Nyeri. The steps we have so far made under the leadership of the late Governor, in just over two months are commendable. Nevertheless, a lot remains to be undertaken in this shared voyage!

As I take up the baton of leadership, I want to specially appeal to all the people of Nyeri to stay on course in our collective commitment to build a more prosperous Nyeri.  Our overarching promise of delivering economic growth anchored on transparency and accountability is fully etched in my mind.

Reflections and stories of hope regarding these aspirations have been repeated in many ways, especially over the last few days. I have had very encouraging and diverse messages from across the county but the underlying theme has been “We are grieving once again but will rally behind you as we soldier on”.  

Ladies and Gentlemen,

These messages and my own contemplations serve as a constant reminder that Dr Wahome and I were called by the unanimous voice of the people of Nyeri to the highest offices in the county despite our not being wealthy nor having powerful connections. It is the will of God that I serve in this position and do offer myself to remain your humble servant. Trust me; I am not taking up this responsibility to enrich myself.

I will continue seeking your company in the streets, farms, and markets of Nyeri as we jointly explore ways of improving our lives, one day at a time. My government will galvanize and mobilize the people of Nyeri for the noble responsibilities we were granted.

To succeed in this venture, we all need to remain truly united.  Through unity, we will bring out the typical resilience of the people of Nyeri in the face of the greatest of odds. Through unity, our hopes and determination will be stirred, our fears will be doused, and we will encourage each other and rally ourselves to build a stronger county even when others doubt our capacity.

I wish to call on all leaders in this county – be it in the political arena, religious sphere, youth forums, women groups and congregation of special groups – to rally behind me to unite our county and improve the living standards of all our peoples across the county.  Let us not allow anyone amongst us to exploit our differences especially in political persuasions to set us one against another. May our determination for this common purpose be unshakable!

May Dr Wahome’s death revive the spirit of the people of Nyeri to conquer any looming challenges- the spirit that drove Dedan Kimathi to fight with nothing but faith; the spirit that propelled Wangari Maathai to World stage of environmental conservation begin with a single seedling.

This is the same spirit that I wish to tap into to make the life of school going children, mothers, hard working men and passionate youths better one day at a time.  For this cause, I will be accessible and also available as I have always been.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

My government will spearhead the implementation of the vision that Dr Wahome Gakuru fought so hard for and was committed to. I trust that as a true confidant, with your esteemed support, we will soon be unpacking this shared vision through a very participatory, collaborative process of formulating our County Integrated Development Plan, plans for the various sectors, and subsequent annual development plans and budgets.

I am mindful that I represent the shared aspiration of the people of Nyeri to forge a focused county:  a county that cherishes education, a county endowed with rich unparalleled heritage, the land of the best coffee and tea, a county desirous of the best healthcare services, a county that aspires to be food secure, and one that envisages prosperity for its youths and children.

I am confident that if we are committed to these ideals, we will not be denied the realization of our vision. In the days ahead, those of us who have been elected to serve you will be required to demonstrate our selflessness, and indeed to live to the expectations, as well as match the hopes and aspirations of the people of this county.

Let us revisit our common grounds, explore new areas of understanding and collaboration and seek novel ideals that will enrich our county. This was Dr Wahome’s perpetual desire and is my desire too!

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Our transformative journey, achieved a critical milestone few days ago when we established our executive committee.  I wish to give a firm assurance of my intention to continue working with the team that we recently enlisted in this great transformation.

I reiterate Dr Wahome’s call for their unequivocal support.  We remain alert to the glaring gap that has been left in the executive and will reorganize alongside sectoral committees at the executive level to bridge that gap.

My government will be an open and transparent government. We will seek to engage at all levels.  At intergovernmental levels, we will continue with our engagement with the national government ministries, departments and agencies as we pursue our common agenda. Our engagement with other counties – especially our neighboring ones – will be expanded and refocused.

Most importantly, we will revitalize our county intergovernmental relations and collaboration with the non state actors. To the people of Nyeri of all walks of life – be sure that we will continue engaging and listening to you.

I wish to reiterate that we have already established a very close and cordial relationship with the national government under the leadership of H.E. Uhuru Kenyatta. My government will do all that is within its powers to strengthen this partnership and see through ongoing projects – including but not limited to markets, specialized hospital, roads, agricultural training school – to completion. Our ongoing planning process must ensure alignment with the Jubilee Manifesto.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Our county’s dream must be anchored on hard work and not short cuts. My administration will encourage and support the people of Nyeri, especially the small and medium enterprises to thrive through access to government procurement opportunities. This we will do acknowledging that they represent the real sector of the economy and that a robust private sector is vital to the creation of growth and jobs that we promised. However, these efforts must be mutual, collaborative and based on a truly win-win value proposition. I will demand that those who work for and do business with the county must be accountable.

At the heart of our service delivery is our staffing complement comprising nearly 3,000 individuals. I direly need the support of this team. Many of them have openly expressed the profound shock that they too have experienced. It is our duty as County Government of Nyeri to ward off uncertainty, doubt and delay and demonstrate that we are capable of decisive action that was manifested by our departed brother.

I believe that no narration can more eloquently honor the Governor Gakuru’s memory than decisively dealing with the bane of corruption and sloppiness in our delivery of services to the public.  I trust that the workers’ unions will be a critical cog in this wheel of transformation too.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

To continue with the programs that Governor Gakuru had already initiated for this period, I wish to make an appeal to our County Assembly to approve our supplementary budget request; our County Public Service Board to fast track the pending recruitments especially those of top managers; and our county departments to fast track the first wave of Rapid Results Initiative that we commenced in September this year.

Over the next four years, my government’s attention will be focused on generating economic growth through rebuilding and maintaining our basic infrastructure; attracting new investments and improving trading environment; creating greater access to social services ( including  quality vocational education, improved health care services) .

We will pay special attention to the agriculture and water sectors to accord their rightful role of ensuring that our county is food secure and generating employment for our youths.

The creation of the Nyeri County Economic and Social Council will enable us to immensely tap on diversity of ideas and experiences necessary for strengthening our fiscal framework, promoting productivity of our critical sectors, and generating the attendant benefits to the people of Nyeri.

To truly be accountable to you and ensure that we attain best value for money, we are setting up a robust Governor’s Service Delivery Unit and beefing up our communications unit to accord regular engagement with the people we serve.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

A grisly road accident has thrust upon me the huge responsibility of steering our county. I am fully aware that I cannot bear this burden alone and do need your help.

As we unite in mourning our departed hero, let us also unite in dedication and action. Let us turn away from defiance, from bitterness, from hate mongers, and agents of fear.

I sincerely and profoundly hope that we will forge forward as one people amidst this tragedy that has befallen us.  Let us resolve that through our unity of purpose, we will prove to Kenya that Dr Wahome did not live or die in vain.

God Bless Kenya, God Bless Nyeri

Former Governors

 

H.E. Nderitu Gachagua

His Achievements as Governor of Nyeri County

The late James Nderitu Gachagua vied for the position of Governor for Nyeri County on a Grand National Union (GNU) ticket in the 2013 General elections. He won with an overwhelming majority and became the first Governor of Nyeri County. He was highly respected, charismatic and visionary leader and accomplished a lot during his term as Governor of Nyeri County.

One of his most outstanding achievements was in the promotion of agriculture, in which he was particularly committed to the marketing of agricultural products without passing through middlemen. With his background from a coffee growing family and from his experience as chairman of the agricultural committee of the national assembly, he closely understood the plight of coffee farmers.

He is best remembered for his robust drive in launching the pool marketing of coffee by looking for direct external markets and also interesting g buyers to purchase Kenya Coffee directly from the farmers. He has also helped farmers with subsidies of seeds for planting, fertilizers and other inputs. Of very special note, he profoundly supported farmers in their agricultural value addition initiatives. The Mukurweini Wakulima Dairy Society is a key beneficiary of these initiatives.

His other special programme is the fully subsidized Artificial Insemination (AI) services, with its twin target of helping improve the livestock breeds and the milk yields in the county.

As Chairman of the agricultural committee of the council of Governors, he helped the Kenyan farmers immensely. In this capacity, he was able to follow up and get the reimbursement of the previously deducted cess dues for tea and coffee farmers. This initiative was greatly boosted by H.E President Uhuru Kenyatta when he removed the coffee and tea levies.

The County Government has during his tenure of service made several important contributions to the improvement of the quality o life in Nyeri County. These includes the improvement of roads, construction of markets like the modern Integrated Chaka Market, lighting up of the market centers, initiating the Afya mashinani programme and the extension of domestic water projects throughout the county. He started several social empowerment programmes such as the Elimu Fund Bursary, the BIMA AFYA programme, the Alcoholic Beverages Control programme as well as the Enterprise Fund for Women, the Youth and the Physically challenged persons in the county to boost their businesses.

The County Government of Nyeri won several performance awards during his tenure of office such as being rated by the commission on the implementation of the constitution as the county with the best health services in Kenya in the year 2015/2016.
Governor Gachagua firmly believed in building synergy and cooperation between the County and National Governments. This has helped tremendously to accelerate the pace of development in the County.

The Late Governor Nderitu Gachagua and His Grace archbishop Peter Kairu, the Archbishop of Nyeri Archdiocese, with the support of H.E President Uhuru Kenyatta, played a leading role in the organization of the historic occasion of the beatification of the Blessed Sister Irene Stefani (Nyaatha) on 24th May 2015. This was a special blessing to the County and the Country which will for long continue to be a source of pride and inspiration to the County.

May the Lord Grant him Eternal Rest.

H.E. Amb. Samuel Githaiga Wamathai

His Achievements as the Second Governor of Nyeri County

The Second Governor of Nyeri County ascended to power after the demise of  the first governor the late James Nderitu Gachagua in accordance to the constitution of Kenya. Before then, H.E Amb. Samuel G. Wamathai had diligently served as the Deputy Governor of Nyeri County. He was the running mate to the late James Nderitu Gachagua who vied  and won the position of Governor of Nyeri County on a Grand National Union (GNU) ticket in the 2013 General elections. H.E Amb. Samuel Wamathai became the first Deputy Governor of Nyeri County. He was able to spearhead the completion of projects started by his predecessor. He also made achievements of his own in the short period he served as the Second Governor.

H.E Dr. Wahome Gakuru (PhD)

His Achievements as the Third Governor of Nyeri County

The late Dr. Wahome Gakuru(PhD) vied for the position of Governor for Nyeri County on a Jubilee Party ticket in the August 2017 General elections. He won with an overwhelming majority and became the third Governor of Nyeri County. The residents of the County had Great hope in his capacity to change things for the better. Governor Gakuru was a great leader and an action-oriented man who – upon his victory in the August 8 election – did not waste time but embarked on serving the people of Nyeri with diligence and commitment. May His soul Rest in Peace.