Tana River Governor Dhadho Gaddae Godhana has asked professionals in his county to take an active role in charting the socio-economic development path of the devolved unit.
He said professionals were an integral institution in governance as they are able to harness ideas and mobilize societies to be self-reliant and reduce over-dependence on government and the working class.
Speaking at the Basket of Hope Missionary Centre in Idsowe area of Tana Delta Sub County during a Tana River Professionals Forum meeting on Wednesday, the governor urged the professionals to mobilize the people to be able to support government through paying taxes.
He however castigated professionals in the county for allegedly being involved in much politicking instead of helping government to deliver on its mandate.
“What I see in most professional people that I love so much is politics. Most of our professionals waste a lot of time politicking. We all have become politicians and are busy analyzing government and departments without knowing the great role they play in society,” he said.
Dr. Godhana urged local professionals to take advantage of the 30 percent diversity rule in employment look for employment opportunities in other counties county in order to benefit Tana River with foreign income.
He however lamented that most professionals want to get jobs within their county and hesitate to apply for jobs in other counties despite the law requiring that one third of employees should come from outside the county.
“Very few of us professionals look outward. Everyone wants to come to Tana even those who are already employed. They want to work at home. They cannot apply for a vacancy in Kisumu or any other county. This denies Tana foreign income,” he said.
This, he said, was the reason there was much politicking in the county at the expense of development, because everybody is jostling for the few job opportunities in government.
He said the professionals had a duty to educate people on how to harness resources and generate income instead of relying on the Equitable Share the county government receives from the National Treasury.
“One of the biggest challenges we have in Tana River is that the job of making money has been left to government,” he said adding, “Our people believe that money is in government and the working class and so they are busy looking for handouts instead of engaging in meaningful income generating activities,” he said.
He said there was need for the people to be mobilized to form institutions such as cooperative societies, livestock marketing ventures and beach management units among others so they can generate income and pay taxes to government.
“Unless we mobilize, institutionalize, capacity build and support the people to be able to be drivers of economic development, government alone is not able to meet the demands,” he noted.
He lamented that most people in the county depended on cash flow from the county government, and that if the county government does not have money, the people also lack the same and they start lamenting.
“Other towns such as Watamu, which is not even a municipality, thrive even if government does not have money because people there are into business,” he added.
This is not the case anywhere in Tana River if there is no money in the county government because the only thing people are depending on is the circulation of money from government to the working class then in flows to them.
The chairman of the Tana Professionals Forum, Mr. Imran Kofa, lamented that Tana River had not fully benefited from devolution and urged the current governor to work hard to ensure this is realized.
He said six years since devolution started, the people were still facing challenges in water, transport, health and agriculture among others. He said the professionals would partner with the county government to reverse the trend.
Mr. Omar Kofa, an unsuccessful senatorial candidate in 2017, said it was as if the devolution was beginning in the county as the previous regime did not put up structures for effective devolution to take off.
By Emmanuel Masha