The Machakos Governor, Dr. Alfred Mutua has promised to use all means available to ensure there is a mutual understanding between his office and other elected leaders.
In a statement to members of the Machakos County Assembly on Wednesday, Dr. Mutua said he looked forward to turning a new page in the management of the county which has been rocked with unending political feuds since the 2017 elections.
Dr. Mutua termed the reopening of house for the third session a time for healing and said the county cannot afford to waste another year in empty political rhetoric while residents continue wallowing in abject poverty without basic needs.
“Machakos people have suffered for the last two years due to political wrangling and games. That is the reality. There has been a lot of wrangling and propaganda, especially by those who were praying for a by-election,” he said.
He said with the recent ruling by the Supreme Court in which his election was upheld, it was prudent to put aside political differences and pull resources together for the better of the county.
To this end, the county boss assured the House on the need to forget the past and focus on what needs to be done in the coming days.
“I know that in the last two years of political games and power struggles, myself and members of my government might have said or uttered things that made the ‘Honourable Members’ unhappy. I ask you to forget the past and I commit myself to establish a new working relationship with you as individual members and individual teams,” he assured the members of the County Assembly.
But to achieve this, the governor urged the Assembly led by Speaker, Florence Muturi to reciprocate the good gesture by putting aside the past for the sake of the county’s development.
Echoing the words of famed Indian independence icon Indira Gandhi, Dr. Mutua said there can never be any positive development unless leaders agree to work together without an iota of hypocrisy.
“Most of you who wronged us and talked ill of us and undertook or conceded any strategies to derail the success of my development, I harbor no ill feeling and I have already forgiven you. As Indira Gadhi once said, “You cannot shake hands with a clenched fist.” Honourable members, my hand is open. Please unclench yours,” he appealed.
And to achieve this, Dr. Mutua urged the Assembly to undertake among others the fast-tracking of the approval of the County Integrated Development Plan (CIDP), passing the Supplementary Budget and withdrawal of all cases still pending in court.
He also appealed to the House to partner with Makueni and Kitui county legislators in coming up with a draft that will ensure a successful implementation of the South Eastern Kenya Economic Bloc (SEKEB)
He said the essence of devolution was to enable leaders make wise decisions that will propel development at the local level and warned the public will judge them harshly unless they executed that mandate as required by law.
The leader pointed out that the county stood to lose much if the leaders chose to spend much of their time planning on how to bring each other down instead of coming up with policies that will eventually uplift the lives of the people.
“The essence of devolution was for decisions to be made by leaders at the local levels within their own government. This cannot work when some of us are controlled by remote by outsiders. History will not judge us kindly if all we do is make political statements, organize demos, spread propaganda, initiate stalemates. We will be judged kindly or harshly based on what we initiate and how we make our people richer,” he said.
While addressing the members at the assembly grounds during the annual Prayer Day ceremony, County Assembly Speaker, Florence Mwangangi urged both the Legislature and the Executive to join hands and work for the common good of the county without compromising the dictates of the constitution.
She said as an oversight arm of the county government, the assembly should be apt to the huge task of ensuring crucial bills are made that will enable the public have access to quality services in sectors such as health, roads and water.
She highlighted the Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and SEKEB as some of the tasks the members need to support to ensure they ultimately succeed.
“I am pleased to announce that the assembly of Machakos has come up with a draft to make the dream of SEKEB come true. We will support the executive on this process .We don’t want the devil of politics to waylay the process, frustrate it and finally make it still born,” she said.
Mwangangi also assured of the members commitment in the implementation g of the UHC program by mobilizing the public to register in large numbers.
Machakos is one of those counties expected to benefit from the health scheme with 300,000 households having been registered in the medical cover since last year.
Other counties to benefit in the initial phase which targets to rope in a total of 3.2 million Kenyans are Kisumu, Isiolo, and Nyeri.
Access to UHC is one of World Bank Group’s (WBG) twin goals of ending extreme poverty and increasing equity and shared prosperity.
By Samuel Maina