Meru County government on Sunday stood out from the rest of the counties by inaugurating the county honours and awards ceremony that will be celebrated annually during Jamhuri Day celebrations.
Speaking during the event held in one of the hotels in Meru town, Meru Governor Kiraitu Murungi said the ceremony marked the beginning of a continuous process where the committee will identify and award members of the Meru community who have attained extraordinary achievements through personal sacrifices and struggles.
The awardees identified from a cross-section of community members were vetted by the Meru County Awards and Honours Committee and were awarded various honours in line with the Honours and Awards Act, 2018, of the County Assembly.
The honours and awards include Order of Koome Njwe (OKN), Order of Kaura O Bechau (OKB), Order of Mugwe (OM), Distinguished Elder of Meru (DEM), Distinguished Daughter of Meru (DDM) and the Distinguished Son of Meru (DSM).
“This is a continuous process to recognise and honour some of the best sons and daughters of Meru who have made extraordinary achievements and made our community proud. They include religious leaders, farmers, entrepreneurs, musicians, politicians, philanthropists, pioneer industrialists, among others, whose names will also be recorded in a permanent register that will be passed down for future generations to learn and emulate as role models,” Governor Kiraitu said.
He said the honours and awards and recognition will seek to develop and inculcate moral values such as hard work, honesty in the acquisition of wealth and success, self-sacrifices and discipline among the youth and future generations of Meru people.
“It is time to end the growing culture of indiscipline, celebration of fame and wealth acquired without hard work and possessive materialism where people in the community are no longer visionary but spend time in celebrating vanity and temporal material possessions such as new vehicle models and other sedentary lifestyles which leave no legacy in the end,” Kiraitu said.
He said there have been many sons and daughters of Meru like Koome Njwe who led the Ameru community from ‘Mbwa’ (Manda Island), Kaura O Bechau who founded Njuri Ncheke and in recent history, Amb. Francis Muthaura who was voted by the UN as the best civil servant in Africa and the brain behind the success of retired President Mwai Kibaki’s Government who also authored Kenya Vision 2030 and Meru Vision 2040, as well as others such as Prof Margaret Kobia who reformed the public service in the country, Chief Justice Martha Koome who is one of only two female chief justices in the whole of the African continent.
Amb Francis Muthaura, Prof Margaret Kobia, Chief Justice Martha Koome and former Meru Governor Peter Munya were among the people who were awarded during the ceremony.
“I was the first Senator of Meru under the new constitutional dispensation while Peter Munya was the first Meru Governor under the new order. These are all unique and historical achievements that should be recognised, honoured and used as an opportunity to create a better, progressive and greater Meru society,” Mr Kiraitu said.
Governor Kiraitu was accompanied by his Deputy Titus Ntuchiu who also received an award during the event.
By Dickson Mwiti