Trans Nzoia Governor’s speech during Mashujaa Day 2015

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The Senator, Honourable Members of Parliament, Honourable Speaker, the County Commissioner, Honourable Members of the County Assembly, Members of the County Executive, , members of the Judiciary, the County security team, religious leaders, members of the Press, invited guests,  ladies and gentlemen.

Fellow County men and women,

I am indeed honoured to join you on this remarkable day to commemorate our 53rd anniversary of the national heroes and heroines. Some of our heroes and heroines literally laid down their lives during the fight against the injustice and oppressive rules of the colonial masters. Today, we live in freedom and human dignity that was earned through unrelenting struggle and suffering by our heroes.

I want to thank you all for turning up to pay tribute to the courageous men and women who fought for our country’s independence.

Mashujaa Day is a source of inspiration to all of us. It brings to our minds the virtues of patriotism and self-sacrifice, which are important pillars of the stability and unity of our nation. This occasion reminds us to appreciate that the freedom and human dignity we enjoy today should be jealously guarded. It is our duty therefore, to serve this county and the country with total dedication and to put the interest of Kenya above all other considerations.

My fellow County men and women, the road to independence was not a smooth one.  Our independence came through selfless and patriotic leaders from Trans Nzoia County and Kenya at Large. Notably, political doyen MASINDE MULIRO, fought selflessly alongside our late founding father Mzee Jomo Kenyatta until we attained independence. MASINDE MULIRO set aside personal ambition and gain to jealously protect our freedom. The second liberation brigade that was led by the late former vice president MICHAEL WAMALWA KIJANA, GEORGE KAPTEN, and others followed the footsteps of the late Muliro. I stand to salute them all and may we collectively pride ourselves on their resolute political leadership accomplishments.

Just recently, on Saturday 10th October 2015, we buried Mama Mercia Muliro, wife to the Political icon, Masinde Muliro.  We pay tribute to her unique role in the fight for liberation. May God rest her soul in eternal peace.

At the time of our independence, Kenya had three major ENEMIES namely illiteracy, disease and hunger. Kenya has achieved much in reducing illiteracy levels, disease control and food security. Kenyan economy has grown and expanded tremendously. We are proud to be recognized as one of the fastest growing economy in the region.  Despite all these, more enemies like corruption, tribalism, bad politics, changing climate  and a myriad others have emerged. Thus, the challenges have increased from the initial three to more than ten! We must re- invent ourselves for us to effectively fight these challenges and guarantee a better future for our children.  We need a spirit of patriotism, commitment, passion, dedication and a new mindset to address these challenges.

This is an opportunity for us to celebrate our local MASHUJAA from all spheres of engagement that have immensely contributed to the well being of our county and country at large. We are proud of our athletes fronted by the current Cherangani legislator WESLEY KORIR, legendary PAUL ERENG, BEN JIPCHO, MOSES KIPTANUI,  TERESA KIPCHUMBA, ANNE CHEPTANUI and other unsung heroes and heroines.

I would like on your behalf to recognize the efforts of the private sector comprising of business community from diverse backgrounds engaged in supermarkets, gas stations, hospitality industry, Jua kali, Transport sector, Construction and Education sector for the great employment opportunities they’ve created for our local residents.

It will not be fair to ignore a doctor or a nurse, in a remote village being woken up in the middle of the night to go and attend to a critically ill patient; the only motor vehicle owner in a far flung village who unconditionally wakes up past midnight to offer his vehicle for emergency services; a person out of Mother Teresa’s heart offering to pay school fees for the less fortunate child; people who have set up orphanages and rehabilitation centers, people who have initiated charity causes, Awareness campaigners, Peace champions, Thespians and musicians, Farmers who ensure  there is sufficient harvest to feed our county and country, Investors who spur our local economy by investing heavily. To all other Kenyan’s with hearts of gold, we celebrate you because without your commitment and dedication this day would be meaningless. I therefore, take this moment to declare all of you HEROES (MASHUJAA) of our present day and seasons before us. This day is marked to observe your unsung deeds and personal sacrifices that have gone as far as changing people’s lives for the betterment of society.

My Government in consultation with the National Government is in the process of implementing the HEROES ACT by identifying people with proper values and ideals with regards to patriotism and statesmanship. As a county, we have produced the best politicians who have played a key role in shaping the Nation’s politics.

I urge my fellow elected leaders, county stakeholders, and people of goodwill from all political divide, to be ready to offer advice and positive criticism that can help propel this  county ahead. May I reassure you that, my government is ready to indiscriminately listen and work with anyone whose hope and wish is to see Trans Nzoia County as the next economic hub. We need to harness our ideas and dissatisfaction in equal measure, by engaging in meaningful discussion for the betterment of the mwananchi. Let us appreciate the existence and the mandate of constitutional structures. I therefore urge all leaders to shun unnecessary competitions and instead focus on enhanced service delivery to the people that gave us the mandate.

 Distinguished guests, 

The nationalists who fought for our freedom had the dream of a country in which Kenyans lived in unity, freedom, democracy and prosperity for all. Nothing gives me greater happiness than to see residents walking proudly in their county notwithstanding their diversity.

It is important that every resident feels secure and assured that they have nothing to fear as they conduct their businesses in accordance with the law. Let all the law-enforcement agencies remain vigilant, steadfast and act firmly against criminal elements. I appreciate the work of County Security team as they carry out their duties.

Security within our urban towns has drastically improved. This could not have been achieved without trust and confidence between members of the public, political leaders and the security officers. The Nyumba Kumi initiative is gaining popularity in our county and therefore it is the responsibility of each resident to report any suspicious characters to the authorities. To improve on the security of  Trans Nzoia residents, my administration has  installed security lights in Kitale town. This contract has been given to Kenya Power and Lighting company and I recently launched the programme.  Moreover,  a number of high mast floodlights are being installed in 26 places including Kitale town, Kiminini, Endebess, Saboti, Kachibora and Sibanga .

Ladies and gentlemen

My administration understands that no meaningful development can be achieved without education. In particular our youth should be more talented and skillful. My government has completed the construction of twin workshops in  13 Youth polytechnics and will soon complete the construction of another 9 twin workshops. In addition it has purchased land in three wards where youth polytechnics will be established. Further, tools and equipment worth Ksh 15million have been purchased and distributed and other tools and equipment worth 11million will be distributed soon.  We encourage parents to take their children to youth polytechnics to gain meaningful skills in sectors like construction and power mechanics which are growing fast.

My county government has established the ELIMU BURSARY FUND to assist the bright and needy children. So far a total of Kshs 136million has been disbursed to the kitty benefitting 15,000 students and pupils.  It is hoped that no needy child will drop out of school on the basis of failure to pay fees.  In this regard we request other stakeholders to partner with the county government to ensure that all children access education as per article 53(b) of the constitution.  As pertains Early Childhood Education and Development,  construction of 75 Centres has been completed and another 25 will be completed by the end of this year. In order to strengthen the learning process, the County Government will employ 756 caregivers.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Many of our patients lose lives because of the long distance to be covered to access referral services in our neighboring County.  As a county, we are building the Kitale Teaching and Referral hospital which will address the referral cases in the county and also serve  other counties, and neighbouring countries.  I am glad to note that the construction of the referral hospital commenced three months ago and is progressing as per schedule. This is a modern hospital which  when complete  will have 350 beds for inpatient  against the current capacity of 150 beds at the County hospital. In addition it will have MRI machines, 6 theatres and can employ up to 400 workers.

Under the medical supplies program, drugs, non pharmaceuticals and laboratory reagents worth Kshs.110M  have been procured to date and  distributed to 58 health facilities.

The focus of my government has been to improve the economic abilities of our people.  My interest has been to ensure that there is more money in the pockets of the people. This is only achievable through increased productivity and diversification. For instance, the production of maize in the county went up by 1million bags in 2014.  This was attributed to the introduction of mavuno fertilizer and the conducive weather. In 2015, it had been projected that the production would still be higher than last year but this may be affected by the weather, particularly the dry spell that occurred in June. The introduction of blended fertiliser has positively impacted on production and also reduced soil acidity. Over 38,633 bags of Mavuno planting fertilizer and 20,590 bags of Mavuno top dressing fertilizer were procured and distributed to farmers countywide in implementation of subsidized fertilizer programme. Model farms were established in each of the 25 wards and one farmer selected per ward.  Seventy-five soil samples from each Ward were analyzed and a report released by Soil Cares to facilitate soil analysis.

I wish to clarify to the public that the fund for purchase of grains is held by the National Government and not County Government.  In the same breath, I appeal to the responsible National Government Ministries to begin purchasing our grains immediately in order to avoid unnecessary loss.  The national government needs to support the farmers with driers and related facilities to enable the farmers dry their maize. This is made more urgent with the onset of El Nino rains.  We hope that our own son who has been appointed the chairman of Strategic Grain Reserve will expedite the process and make it possible for the farmers to sell their produce. But the most critical is to release the funds so that the farmers can sell their maize.  Meanwhile, I urge all farmers to expedite the harvesting process now that the rains have started.

Our County development theme is “transforming the lives of Trans Nzoia People through Poverty Reduction, Wealth Creation and Agro Industrialization”. It is in light of this theme that the county has pegged its development milestones on reducing poverty by 50%, increasing youth employment by 50% and increasing land productivity by 50% by 2018.

The county Government has been focusing on improving the physical and socio infrastructural facilities, increasing land productivity, enhancing farm incomes, enhancing access to social amenities, empowerment of the marginalised and the vulnerable groups. Efforts have been made to improve the business environment, building the capacity of  MSE and Jua Kali sector as a way of improving economic development and employment creation. My government is constructing market sheds in 18 wards (18 Market Centers) and this will contribute towards cconducive market environment for the micro and small enterprises. The cconstruction of fresh produce markets is  going on at Endebess, Kwanza, Sibanga, Gituamba and Sikhendu Centers. The other major achievement in relation to creation of a stable source of livelihoods is the establishment of  several funds and SACCOs to address the emerging needs of our people. The county has established Youth and Women Fund, Bursary Fund and assisted in the formation of SACCOs including Pastors Sacco, Jua kali Sacco, and Boda boda Sacco.

Fellow County men and women,

The county government recently procured a state of the art fire-fighting engine. Four staff members were trained in Britain on how to operate the machine and as a result fire emergencies have been effectively managed. We recently put out an inferno at St. Columba’s High School in a record 8 minutes. Besides, our fire brigade has put out fires at Kitale School, Boma School and Kitale Technical Institute among others.

Ladies and gentlemen, as you are aware, one of our greatest challenges has been a bus park for the county. The long awaited construction will commence shortly as the contract has already been awarded. When completed, the bus park will accommodate 10 buses, 350 matatus, 300 boda bodas, 200 tuk tuks and taxis, and 1000 small scale traders at a go. The bus park will also have adequate passenger sheds and modern sanitation facilities.

Ladies and gentlemen I once again appreciate your commitment of observing this very special day that celebrates the great men and women that fought for our great nation Kenya.