H.E. Joseph Ole Lenku opened the first sitting of the third Session of the Kajiado County Assembly and called on unity of purpose between the County Executive and the County Assembly. He said gone are days when the relationship between the two institutions was characterized by unholy alliances of political division and tribalism. He said the interest of the people of Kajiado came first and it is only through partnership in an enabling environment that the Executive and County Assembly can fulfill their respective mandate as enshrined in the Constitution.
“It is this partnership, I can confidently say, that is propelling our County to lead among those counties that are, gracefully and quickly, departing from the path of ordinary performance,” said the Governor.
In his address before the Assembly Lenku highlighted the first year in office achievements of his government following the public report card on performance. Key among these he said was the fact that the county which had previously appeared prominently in the list of counties that have spent enormous amounts of money on development had so far spent more than half a billion shillings as development funds in the first half of the 2018/2019 Financial year according to the Integrated Financial Management Information System (IFMIS) indicators. He further revealed that Kshs503 M has been paid out to contractors for either ongoing or completed projects in departments of Roads, Education, Agriculture & Livestock as well as Health.
He said revenue collection had steadily risen by 163 per cent during the first half of 2018/2019 financial year with Kshs 368M collected as compared to Ksh 138M collected during the same period in the previous year making Kajiado the second most improved County countrywide according to the Commission for Revenue Allocation (CRA) ratings.With regards to healthcare, Lenku said the continued investment in equipping healthcare institutions, improving infrastructure, recruiting and training personnel and updating systems have enhanced the county’s healthcare availability, accessibility and utilization. This he said has resulted to an increase of the patients seeking health services in County health facilities and the major hospitals in Kajiado, Ngong, Kitengela and Loitokitok Sub County Hospitals as well as Ongata Rongai health centre.
At the same time Lenku challenged the County Assembly through its Committee on Implementation to constructively keep his Executive Committee Members on their toes on the full implementation of development priorities, plans and projects.“You are our people’s ‘eyes’ in what we do as a Government. Keep us on the go! Keep us on the run! Your support is extremely critical in fast-tracking the pace of our development,” he said.
In highlighting legislative achievements, the Governor thanked the County Assembly’s efforts that has realized the enactment of three bills recently. He said the recently assented Bills; The Kajiado County Administrative Structures Act (2018) , The Kajiado County Inspectorate Service Act (2018) and The Kajiado County Emblems and Names Act (2018) will go a long way in strengthening service delivery for the benefit of the people of the County.“I am, extremely glad that we have started this calendar year on a very high legislative note. I look forward to more Bills from my County Executive.,” noted Lenku.
He however noted with concern that the Kajiado County Environment Management Bill, 2015 was in limbo even after going through the entire legislation process with millions of tax payers resources having being utilized. Lenku directed the CEC Members in charge of Environment to immediately engage stakeholders, review the entire Bill and provide a document that can be enacted into law as soon as possible.
The Governor singled out Members of County Assembly in their efforts to introduce private members bills terming it a clear demonstration of their resolve to partner with the Executive for the benefit of the people of Kajiado. The Hon. Joseph Masiaya (Corporate Social Responsibility Bill), Hon. Onesmus Ngogoyo (Water Harvesting Bill) Hon. Winnie Sein (Charcoal Burning Bill) and Hon. Amos Peshut (Urban and Physical Planning Bill) were singled out in his address.
Lenku also lauded the National Government for its continued partnership on development programmes in the County. He revealed that Kajiado County will play host to this year’s National Madaraka Day celebrations on June 1st, 2019. Further he said, the County has been selected to host the Annual Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASALS) Conference that brings together 29 counties.
He recognized the recent appointments of his predecessor Hon. Dr David Nkedianye, Mr Kakuta Maimai, Hon. Moses Ole Sakuda and Mr. David Kitasho and congratulated them on their new roles. He hoped that their inclusion will boost the County’s bargaining power in the mission to provide water to Kajiado residents.
The governor took issue with TATA Chemicals Magadi for the recent invasion of a warehouse in Magadi Township where structures and building materials meant for the construction of County facilities were demolished and destroyed. He condemned the incident which he said sparked outrage among the local residents who have for a long time looked forward to service delivery within their localities.
He added that this punitive destruction happened in the wake of a civil engagement between the company, his government and investors on formal and civil implications of setting up the administrative offices in the area. He termed it unfortunate that despite the cordial relationship over the years, the company contravened the law and destroyed government property with total disregard to the interests of people of Kajiado. “As leaders, we cannot take this anymore! Protection of our people takes precedence over everything else, including corporate profits. We aren’t the type to be compromised at the altar of grossly exaggerated Corporate Social Responsibility; we aren’t so ready to be blackmailed in order for corporate entities to evade their tax obligations to the County, “said Lenku.
He was however categorical that his government was in full support of all investors who fulfill basic requirements such as tax obligations but not at the expense of the people of Kajiado. He vowed to ensure that all the arrears owed by TATA Chemicals Magadi Limited are settled in full since it was a legitimate expectation of the people of Kajiado.