|MY SPEECH DURING MADARAKA DAY CELEBRATIONS, 1st JUNE 2018
Senator, Nyeri County
Members of Parliament
Speaker of the County Assembly
Members of the County Assembly
Members of the County Security Team
Our gallant service men and women in uniform
Religious leaders and leaders from all other sectors
Our future leaders, the school childrenLadies and Gentlemen,On 1st June 1963, we won political freedom and begun running our own internal affairs. We saw the birth of the Kenyan nation after an epic struggle against the British rule. A struggle in which the great people of Nyeri stood at the center; A struggle in which tens of thousands of our people went through immense physical and emotional suffering; A struggle that has defined our historical identity as a selfless people who continue to fight for economic empowerment.
As we gather to celebrate this day, I wish to pay my deepest homage to all those who participated in this struggle. From the indomitable Field Marshalls Dedan Kimathi and Muthoni wa Kirima, Generals Stanley Mathenge, Gititi Kabutu, Ndungu wa Gicheru and Waruhiu Itote alias General China to the freedom fighters living amongst us today. Your contribution to the liberties that we so much enjoy today will remain forever etched in our minds.
My government is committed to supporting programs that immortalize these heroes and heroines. We are on course towards establishing a cultural heritage centre and I am pleased to mention that two days ago I signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Duncan Ndegwa Foundation towards this end.
We should not forget the idealism that our freedom fighters valiantly for. That is why as we celebrate this great day, we also take an opportunity to pause and introspect. Are we protecting the freedoms that we garnered? Are we inspiring future generation of this county?
Let me first acknowledge that the freedom we acquired then, has mutated through several generational struggles and is institutionalized through our Constitution and indeed the spirit of devolution. It would be foolhardy to fail to recognize the numerous heroes who have also contributed in the struggle to guard the freedom (and the essence of the freedoms) that we won then. I salute the farmers of Nyeri who continue to selflessly till the land we dearly fought for, in order to feed families; the teachers and educators who continue to stretch the minds and imagination of our youthful population; and the men and women of Faith who persistently remind all of us to only seek greatness through service.
Ladies and gentlemen,
To truly enjoy this liberty, we must translate it into a living opportunity for every citizen in this county. Through economic growth and equitable distribution of the county’s resources, we will get our county to rise and promise hope for the future. This is the journey that my government has embarked on in earnest.
Since I took up the responsibility of governing this county, over six months ago, we have made commendable progress in designing and implementing the programs that we promised. We have remained steadfast in ensuring that our people are genuinely engaged in delivering these programs in the spirit of public participation. Allow me to share some of the successes we have registered within this short period.
Ladies and gentlemen,
The single most critical factor for building our county into prosperity is investing in our future generations and leaders. My government has engaged over 700 caregivers to support the delivery of education and development of children attending our ECDE centers. I also launched this year’s bursary scheme program through which 40 million shillings is being issued. Beginning next financial year, we are scaling up the bursary 100 million shillings and do hope to reach over 15,000 needy beneficiaries. Progressively, we are redeeming the county’s image as a leader in education and working hard towards redeeming our lost Glory.
Since we reinvigorated the sports program in the county, my government has hosted a football and volleyball tournament and also continues to support athletes participating in various national championships. We are at the same time rebuilding sports infrastructure – with works at Ruringu, Gichira, Kaiyaba stadia on course. These infrastructural investments coupled with our mentoring program for youth athletes will definitely reclaim our lost glory as a sporting county.
Allow me to congratulate our young athletes who continue to put NYERI on the World map. Kudos to Samuel Gathimba and Margaret Nyairera, who respectively won Gold and Bronze medals at the Commonwealth Games in Australia, early this year.
My government has more than doubled the allocation to the Agriculture Sector in full appreciation that it remains the most critical sector for the county’s economy. We have already procured over 160,000 seedlings for macadamia, avocado, mangoes and pawpaw. Distribution and planting of these seedlings is ongoing. We have also procured 100,000 tonnes of agricultural lime that will be applied by our farmers towards moderating soil acidity to improve crop productivity; installed four milk coolers; distributed more than 20 tonnes of potato seeds, distributed 100 bee-keeping starter kits, 2000 chicks and procured new heavy equipment for the Agricultural Mechanization Unit.
These initiatives are anchored on the extension services program that we have revamped through provision of new vehicles and re-training of staff.
Ladies and gentlemen,
I applaud President Uhuru Kenyatta and the national government for choosing the county of Nyeri as one of the four counties in which the Universal Health Coverage program will be rolled out through a deep dive strategy. On our part, we have initiated a raft of projects aimed at strengthening our capacity to deliver quality and effective health care services and benefit optimally from the UHC program. Two days ago, I launched a rapid project for face-lifting our county referral hospital’s outpatient unit. Similar works are ongoing at all the other Level 4 hospitals across the county. We anticipate that these projects, once completed, will enhance the level of care and the patient experience at the hospitals.
My government received an accolade from KEMSA, in recognition for being the leading county in management of supply chain for essential medicines and medical supplies. This is an affirmation that we are making significant progress in ensuring that medicines are available to our people as and when they are needed.
Our program of improving staff productivity in service delivery is registering positive results. My government has supported training of over 300 staff, fast tracked promotions for over 200 staff, rolled out staff code of ethics and conduct and also processed staff identification cards. These initiatives are evidently helping to nurture respect and transparency in the county public service, and strengthen citizen engagement.
With regard to improving our county infrastructure, my government has graveled over 100 kilometers of roads and graded a similar number. Additionally, we have procured contracts for re-carpeting of tarmac roads in Nyeri, Karatina and Mukurweini towns.
My government is currently implementing over 40 water projects across the county. These projects ranging from development of water intakes, storage tanks, pipelines for water distribution and drilling of boreholes will see access to water for domestic consumption and irrigation increased.
We have planned to scale up investments in these areas over the next year and our commitment is evident proposals that we have made for budgetary allocation.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Responsibility requires us, as patriotic citizens, to meet our end of the development bargain. I am pleased that our local revenue has increased over the short duration we have been in power and do expect to record a growth of over 100 million shillings over the prior period’s performance. My government is currently implementing a new revenue management system and reviewing the Revenue Administration Act to support local revenue growth and enable channeling of more resources to development projects.
The vagaries of weather that we have witnessed over the last two year period, from devastating drought to torrential rains, are a clear indicator that nature while very generous can also be very harsh when violated. As I speak, some parts of the county are still recovering from the effects of recent floods. The county government is closely working with stakeholders to provide relief to the people who have been afflicted and at the same time developing a long term program for dealing with emerging disasters.
I am impressed with the zeal with which the people of Nyeri have taken up the county and national governments led tree planting initiatives. When we undertook our planning for development for the five year period, we acknowledged that we must not only maintain our lead position with regard to the tree coverage but also commit to grow it by an additional 10%. This target is proving to be realizable when we factor in the adoption of our fruit trees program.
Wonderful Nyeri people,
Freedom comes with responsibility. We need to invoke the spirit of courage and selflessness in the task of building the county of Nyeri. My government is spearheading the initiatives that I have alluded to –but it is for each of us to support these noble programs, utilize the infrastructure we develop for the right purpose, abide to the laws and policies that we develop, and constantly provide feedback.
The dragon of corruption still poses a big threat to our achievement of our desired economic growth. We need to join hands to slay it. My government is doing its part by strengthening the accountability framework through leveraging on technology. However, tremendous progress will only be achieved by each and every one of us, upholding high standards of integrity. This is the appeal that I make to all of you, and especially those doing business with my government.
Ladies and gentlemen
Once again I wish to pay homage to those who sacrificed their lives defending this county and the nation at large. While we continue to strengthen security in this county, we have a few isolated cases of crime that need to be tackled. I wish to specially commend our men in uniform who continue to work with courage to ensure that security in the county is intact. Let me also commend the many vigilant civilians who continue to support our security forces in delivering this mandate. This is the spirit of the freedom fighters!
As I conclude, I would like to affirm my government’s commitment to delivering the promises that we made. The promise of transparency and accountability has an inherent call for constant introspection. Let us rededicate ourselves to the ideals of courage, selflessness and patriotism, and most significantly redeem the hope that we can make this county better, a day at a time.
God Bless Kenya
God Bless Nyeri