Hon. Speaker, Deputy Speaker, Members of County Assembly, County Government Officials, Invited Guests, Members of the Public, Ladies and Gentlemen.
It is my pleasure and honor, once again to preside over the commencement of yet another session of the County Assembly, a session like no other: the 5th and last of the first five years of Devolution. This house has been the engine and the very foundation of devolution. Five years of leading and learning, five years of unprecedented service delivery, five years of passing integral laws, five years of setting the pace and establishing structures and institutions to deliver the devolution mandate under the new constitutional dispensation.
We have all walked this journey, but if you remember well, it has been on this very floor that you have passed laws and budgets, questioned and regulated the county government, determined and set the pace for the development in Kajiado County, overseen public expenditure, and raised pertinent public issues. You have diligently worked, with and checked my government, and to this end, I congratulate you, even as you commence the final phase of this journey.
This last session which is about to begin, is full of challenges and opportunities. Challenges in the sense of service delivery and quality of legislation’s you pass as well as opportunities to cement your legacy as the first legislative house of this county, a legacy to be remembered and emulated. It is time to finish and finish smart. I have no doubt whatsoever that you will do your part and do it perfectly. This challenge, Honorable members, should be in our priority even as the country goes into an electioneering period. The citizens still look up to this house for equity, fairness, justice, development, leadership, and a great legacy that is guided by wisdom. Let us remain steadfast in passing, as quickly and reasonably as possible, all the pending and proposed bills, laws that will guarantee development and ensure equity and equality.
Honorable Members, serve our people well and make your profound legacy stamp a firm foundation today and in future, with these forward-thinking laws. I know you can because you already demonstrated so.
Honorable members, for the remaining time with me as your Governor, it is imperative that we stick together until the residents of Kajiado decide to deal with each one of us individually on the 8th of August, 2017. As you all know, the campaign mood is setting in. We are being asked about what we delivered. It is obvious that together we have achieved a lot. Be firm in enumerating our achievements, otherwise, you will all be collectively condemned for having failed the people by delivering little and passing unimportant bills, we have the ability to prove we have achieved.
For us to forge ahead, let us reflect on our achievements so far. Honorable Members, we have done big things. One of the recent biggest steps we have made, as a county, is the signing of the Anti-corruption Action Plan during the recently concluded International Anti- Corruption day. As we are all aware, corruption is a vice that not only hampers progress and development but also erodes public trust if elected officials are unable to curtail it. This recent commitment was quite timely.
We also commissioned and launched the county logo and coat of arms, which distinguishes us as a county of diversity, promise and development, a county of the brave and the bold.
In matters education, we have built, equipped and staffed over 380 ECDE Classrooms across all our sub-counties. In realizing our objective to uplift the living standards, we have established that education is the cornerstone. And this education starts at the basic level: the nurseries and kindergartens.
My government has invested heavily in early childhood education for this county’s children to start their educational journey and start well and to be at par with the very best in this country. We have gone further to finance the building of classrooms and other learning facilities in numerous primary and secondary schools. We currently sponsor hundreds of deserving students in primary and secondary school levels through bursaries and educational grants. To stamp our commitment in developing the human resource capacity in our esteemed county, my government, together with its partners, is expanding and equipping our polytechnics and other vocational training institutions.
Honorable Members, we have done and achieved a lot in the health sector. In as much as we currently have the doctors’ strike, it is not lost on us how critical the health of the people of Kajiado is and how much it is a right and a role of the county government. With this realization in mind, my government has committed the largest chunk of its annual budget to the health sector. We have built and expanded hospitals. We have more than doubled the bed capacities in most of the hospitals. We have also streamlined the acquisition and distribution of medical supplies and drugs. We continue to engage fruitfully with the national government on the Medical Equipment and other programs. We shall continue to deliver on health care and work with all stakeholders to have a healthy Kajiado County.
Some of our flagship projects are the construction of the library and the Ngong stadium among others. These projects will go a long way in improving adult education and nurturing sporting and athletic talents of our young people respectively. The projects are ongoing, and I want to ask for your continued support until their completion.
We also have the sensitive issue of land. As we are all aware, land transactions have been infiltrated by corrupt cartels.
As a response, my government has made strides in reducing corruption in the land sector. Our public land registry is now a lot more organized and cleaned up. We have digitized all the plots entries. I want to request this house to keenly seal all the loopholes in the existing land laws to help us stamp out this vice once and for all.
Another outstanding step we have made is the construction of markets in all major towns within the county. These markets will not only ensure safety for people and goods but also support the local economy while attracting business to our county and ensuring that we stay competitive. We will soon open the now completed bus park in Kitengela town; we shall decongest the town, and ensure improved flow of traffic. We are also improving roads in our urban as well as rural areas.
My government has and will continue to spearhead the fight against FGM and early childhood marriages, which have in the past denied our children their inalienable rights to education and personal choice. This house has been part and parcel of the fight, and I want to urge you to stand with us in this long journey. Our children deserve the best and we must always stand for them.
To ensure that we complete all the initiated projects, we have ope-rationalized project implementation committees that are already assessing all projects for purposes of fair payment and speedy completion. This is also a requirement in the PFM Act.
Hon. Members, as we commence this last session, let us keep our objectives in sight. Let us deliver as we have done in the past. Let us join in one accord and lay a firm foundation for our great county. We are in a unique juncture to prove that devolution is indeed a great step for this country and that joint governance is a reality. The people look upon us. Let us lift them up with the powers they vested upon us. Mr. Speaker, I thank you for this opportunity through your dedicated leadership. Let us join hands to increase efficiency in this God given last lap.
Thank you very much and may God bless all our people.