By CPA Phillip S. Wuantai
I begin by stating that I’m not an expert in best governance but I’m a contributor of good governance.
Kajiado remains a ‘catch up county’ – This is according to the Commission on Revenue Allocation (CRA) which has picked close to 40 per cent of all the sub-locations of this county that it considers as highly marginalized and with extreme levels of deprivation.
These areas are considered marginalised and deprived – high voltage social and economic exclusion. There is no luxury for being a governor of such a county in the 21st century. There’s no chance for misplaced priorities. You must be brutal with frugality i.e. the quality of being economical with money.
Sir, you need credible data to inform your decisions on any and every project rather than employing whims, hunch feelings, laced with cheerleading and turning you into a leader of roadside declarations. Do not portray a regime that seems to be at war with itself. Look at this:
The following Sub-locations in Kajiado County are considered marginalised and in extreme deprivation as per a survey conducted by a competent Commission in Kenya. If you possess the right statistics and understand them then every penny from this County must seriously count.
Kajiado West sub-county – 32 sub-locations out of 63 (representing 50.8per cent deprivation rate).
Kajiado Central – 23 out of 29 (representing 79.3per cent deprivation rate)
Kajiado South – 9 out of 16 (representing 56.25 deprivation rate).
Kajiado East and North might be having their own unique challenges which must be captured.
I would like to make the following assertions; that Museums do not preserve culture or traditions, they preserve objects and artifacts. A museum will deal with the hardware part of our society but they cannot address the Maa software which is the innovation and dynamism of our people in integrating social-development needs – with broader national culture.
Building a museum does not feed into the President’s Big Four Agenda i.e. Food security; Affordable Housing; Manufacturing; & Affordable Healthcare for all. The last time I checked you were elected on a Jubilee ticket, thus we expect a harmonised agenda between our County and the National government agenda to enable us make global strategic gains.
Your government ought to stimulate mobilisation of more funds to provide comprehensive services in marginalised areas of our county. These are; Water, Education, Health, with other priorities being, Access roads, Provision of electricity, and Security.
The following should inform your investments as a government; Poverty levels, status of roads, use of electricity, access to safe water, access to health care services, access to improved sanitation, and levels of literacy. Your urge to invest in a museum does not address any of the above.
Governor, the majority of the people you lead are in frequent migration in search of water, food and pasture, coupled with devastating land use conflicts. They are literally walking museums. Instead of putting money in a taskforce and a a monument called museum, please put money on these people.
We need to reduce the level of deprivation for the Kenyan populations living in Kajiado County. This is the sole reason why we fought and won to have a new constitutional dispensation with devolution being its priority hallmark.
When we supported your candidature, we had several legitimate expectations – top among them is, you will be a ‘change insurgent’ (pro-actor) and less of a ‘change agent’ (reactor). We desire innovation and competent application of our limited resources.
Your Government has been unable to put in place programmes to enable take-off by farmers and livestock keepers who suffered after a very devastating drought. You may need to know that the said drought decimated herds of our cattle to the tune of about 70per cent per household. These people do not need a museum but rather serious social-economic programmes that will enable them rebuild their lives, regain their livelihoods, take off economically and live descent lives. This is why any penny diverted to address non-strategic, non-priority, non-productive ventures will not only be considered unwise and incompetent but also reminiscent of extravagance by a somehow dull regime.
You will be shocked to know that Kajiado County’s most urgent priority is actually access to food. If you do not employ a massive programme to stimulate food production then you are surely leading a regime that suffers from a faulty management style. You will be building walking museums in the people of Kajiado.
Your regime has not been able to respond when the blue-tongue disease affecting our sheep broke out.
You are not responding to the lumpy skin disease on our cattle which is spreading like a bush fire. Actually your Government is facing the other direction on these. The least we expected from you is to have a strategic partnership with the Kenya Veterinary Vaccines Production Institute (KEVEVAPI) so that the county can access any vaccine any time in case of any breakout. This is the reason for devolution.
The county’s development is dictated by what’s contained in the County Integrated Development Plan (CIDP), which is largely a reflection of the prioritised needs and projects of the 25 wards of Kajiado County. There’s no ward that prioritised a museum as their most urgent need. We caution you against engaging in wild-winds adventure or mis-applying our meager resources in monuments that could wait for 40 years and more. Please reconsider your stand.
I repeat what I said in the beginning – I’m not an expert in best governance but I’m a contributor of good governance.
Wuantai is Ph.D. Student on Cross-border Trade in East & Southern Africa.