Fernandez Barasa has been sworn in as the second Governor of Kakamega, succeeding Wycliffe Oparanya, who has served his constitutional two terms.
Kakamega High Court Presiding Judge, Dorah Chepkwony, administered the oath to both Fernandez Barasa as the Governor and his Deputy Ayub Savula at Bukhugu Stadium.
After being sworn in, Barasa, who won the August 2022 Gubernatorial election, received the Instruments of Power from outgoing Governor Wycliffe Oparanya, who handed over the County Seal, Court of Arms and the County Flag.
In his address to the public, Barasa outlined a six-point agenda, to focus on during his tenure of service to the people of Kakamega.
He said his Administration will put more focus to address health, food security, wealth creation, social development, education especially ECDE and Polytechnics and good governance.
Barasa said he will enhance citizen participation in his administration and initiate a quarterly county leader’s forum to discuss development progress, exchange ideas and avoid duplication of roles.
The swearing in ceremony was witnessed by a host of leaders including Defence and also Ag. Devolution Cabinet Secretary, Eugene Wamalwa, Kakamega Senator Boni Khalwalwe, MPs Christopher Aseka (Khwisero), Tindi Mwale (Butere), Bernard Shinali (Ikolomani) among others.
Outgoing Governor Oparanya said he established proper structures during his 10 years of service as the first Governor of Kakamega where the incoming Administration will build on.
“Today Kakamega County boasts of various accolades that we have received many times, where we have been evaluated by different agencies of repute emerging top among all the 47 counties,” he noted.
He said Kakamega continues to receive many visitors from Kenya and abroad who visit to understand and adopt the Kakamega devolution model.
“Devolution has demonstrated that with proper planning and accountability, it works for the benefit of the local people by creating employment and accelerating development,” he noted.
Oparanya said that the key aspect that devolution is supposed to serve is to promote democracy and accountable exercise of power, foster national unity by recognizing diversity, give powers of self-governance to the people and enhance the participation of the people in exercise of power of the state.
“Devolution is supposed to recognize the rights of communities to manage their own affairs and to further their development, protect and promote the interests of minority and marginalized communities,” Oparanya noted.
The Defense CS said Kakamega is the best performing county in the country, lauding the outgoing Governor for laying a solid foundation.
“My brother, you provided leadership in uniting all leaders during your service as the Chairman of the Council of Governors,” Wamalwa noted.
By Moses Wekesa and Ann Otieno