All Leaders Present
Ladies and Gentlemen;
It is with much gratitude to God that we are gathered here today to mark a very important day in the history of our beloved nation.
We are celebrating 54 years since we attained independence; the day we were set free from the yoke of colonialism. Jamhuri Day as we all know it, is a momentous occasion for Kenyans as it reminds us of the selfless struggle and the hard earned freedom from the colonial masters. I take this opportunity to pay tribute to our fore-fathers who played a key role in laying the foundation on which we have developed over the years. Indeed, theirs was a selfless struggle that eventually made Kenya a nation that takes charge of its destiny.
Since this day 54 years ago, Kenya as nation has come a long way and has achieved great strides. The fact it has remained peaceful and resilient is an indication of our desire as a people to conquer our challenges and build a prosperous future for our children and great grandchildren. The promulgation of the Kenya Constitution (2010) which resulted in the advent of devolved units has seen the country make huge strides in transforming the lives of its people.
Ladies and Gentlemen;
We realize that we have just come from prolonged political activities which have distracted us from focusing on our development agenda. I am glad that is behind us now and I urge the opposition and its leadership to come to terms with the fact that we need to move forward as a country.
We are in the completion stages of constituting our new administration and we expect the disbursement of resources from National government to the counties to commence any time now so that we embark on the implementation process of our development programmes and projects.
I want to thank President Uhuru Kenyatta for demonstrating his commitment towards fostering devolution by signing the Division of Revenue Bill 2017 into law. We appreciate that this move will now allow the national treasury to avail money to our county governments.
In light of this, I urge the County Executive Committee Members to settle fast in readiness for the delivery of their mandate as everything now is falling in place for the implementation of our transformative agenda as envisaged in our campaign manifesto. As cabinet, the big task of delivering services to citizens in an effective and efficient manner is what you must embrace. Your commitment, sacrifice and dedication is of paramount significance towards this course.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
My administration is citizen driven. This is the only sure way to address the pressing needs of our people and realize sustainable development. It is therefore, needless to say all state officers and government officials must engage citizens in the entire process of development.
We all must recognize the fact that the world has shifted to performance for results and we must embrace this phenomenon. As your leader I wish to reiterate that my administration will embrace this course by setting up a functioning performance framework with the necessary measurement tools as yard sticks for determining our development progress and the impact of our interventions.
In this regard, all of us in government will be on performance contracts to ensure that we not only remain accountable and transparent in executing our social contracts with you the citizens, but also that each one of us takes individual responsibility of what is expected of them.
Ladies and gentlemen;
As I have mentioned before, as a county we are in the process of developing our five year County Integrated Development Plan (CIDP) covering the period 2018 – 2022. This process has commenced and it will be officially launched soon to enable our economic planning team to drive the process. This will include extensive public participation process to enlighten and involve citizens on the development programmes to be prioritized during the plan period.
The objective of this plan is to guide our county’s transformative agenda in the framework of my political manifesto, the national aspirations under the Vision 2030; the 2030 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and our other national and international development obligations. This is an opportunity to craft our own economic destinies and I therefore urge all of you to take part actively in the development of this document during the public participation meetings.
We started the year 2017 when we were experiencing drought and its adverse effects in many parts of the county. Later in the year, we received sufficient rains and we have every reason to thank the Almighty for answering our prayers. In light of this, we have had bountiful harvests of food crops and plentiful of rejuvenated pasture for the animals. However, I am concerned that a number of farmers are selling their produce at very low prices to middlemen (brokers) and soon they might run out of food to sustain their livelihoods. In this regard, I appeal to the National Cereals and Produce Board to start buying maize from our farmers at competitive prices. At the same time, I am asking the farmers to harvest and store pasture for use during drought and in times of scarcity.
Ladies and gentlemen,
We are lucky in Baringo that we have great diversity in our cultural heritage and we should preserve it for our unique identity as a people for the sake of future generations. However, it is very unfortunate that there are retrogressive cultural practices that have been outlawed that continue to undermine the dignity of our girls and women. I am talking about Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). There are individuals who still carry out this heinous act and harsh punishment should be meted on them according to the law.
In line with this, the county has come up with a bill on Gender Based Violence and FGM falls under this category. There are many incidences and atrocities under GBV and statistics indicate that about 90% of such cases are not reported. To add insult to injury, few reported cases are withdrawn and settled out of court thus denying the affected persons to get due recourse while the perpetrators escape with minimal penalty and punishment. Let’s all SAY NO TO GENDER BASED VIOLENCE AND FGM.
Ladies and Gentlemen;
Government should be given space to deliver. Empty criticism of administrations will not yield solutions but will only serve as distraction that consume time and drain the drive and confidence of government to deliver on its mandate. My administration has adopted an open governance system. If you have pertinent issues, I invite you for positive criticism and dialogue. This is the only way to sustainable resolution to development issues for the common good of each one of us.
The county government has a distinct administrative system with a clear structure and mandate from the County headquarters to the ward level. In due course, we shall be further expanding this to cover even the village levels to make sure that it works best to serve for everyone.
In addition to a vibrant administrative structure, we are further stepping up efforts to remain open and accountable to the citizens of Baringo by setting of a public feedback mechanism. This will provide avenues through which members of the public and all our stakeholders can air their grievances, express complaints, make suggestions and even compliment our service delivery. To fulfill this, we will soon leverage on ICT and unveil interactive online platforms and a dedicated toll free telephone line through which you can call, SMS or use WhatsApp platform on any issue that you may think requires the attention of our government and get a response within a reasonable timeline if not immediately.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Our development needs are immense, while our resources are limited. We therefore need to constantly think outside the box by optimizing on the existing resources both natural and human for maximum impact. Additionally, we must endeavour to seek partnerships with both national and international stakeholders as well as state and non-state actors in order for us to efficiently drive our socioeconomic family.
As you are aware, I recently led a delegation to Augsburg city in Germany with a view of establishing and strengthening areas of co-operation in Education, Health, Disaster preparedness, Waste management and Vocational training between the European nation and Baringo County.
I am glad to report that our trip yielded positive results notably in vocational training and medical sectors. For instance, in March 2018, a team of 3 (three) cardiologists from Germany will be coming to assess the capacity of our operating theatre at the Baringo County Referral Hospital at Kabarnet. The report from the assessment will inform the steps which shall be undertaken to make it possible for heart surgeries to be performed at the facility which will greatly boost the ability to offer high quality and efficient surgical services.
Furthermore, vocational training institutions will receive modern equipment courtesy of German friends under the Pro-Kapsogo initiative. To enhance the capacity of our vocational training institutions to offer high quality training, a number of tutors will receive a one-year full scholarship to train in Germany. Fire fighting and waste management departments will also benefit from the cooperation that we have established.
Ladies and Gentlemen;
Why are we grappling with high unemployment rates in our country? It is simply because in the past we have not been keen to adapt to our socioeconomic and political structural changes. The world is changing. Africa is changing. Kenya is changing. Baringo County is not exceptional.
Our major problem is a gaping mismatch between the education sector and the job market. While the education sector is inclined towards white collar jobs oriented workforce, the market is in huge demand for blue collar skills. Something is totally wrong. We must be pragmatic in our development approaches to combat the real challenges of unemployment.
We must have practical local solutions for local problems like providing an environment and training that will encourage our youth to venture into entrepreneurship and agribusiness. The Geothermal Development Company (GDC) is partnering with the county in training over 200 youth in technical exploration skills. We will also ensure that the youth will actively participate in the government tenders under Access to Government Procurement (AGPO) and the minimum 30% threshold to youth, women and people with disabilities (PWDs) is attained in the county. The key focus is for our youth to not only be self employed, but also create job opportunities for others.
Ladies and Gentlemen;
Like I have mentioned in various forums, the role of government is to hold in trust resources on behalf of the wananchi and use them in causes that the citizen himself determines and knows will uplift their welfare. In fulfilling this mandate, our government will ensure prudent use of resources to ensure the fruits of devolution are enjoyed by all. I call upon all of us, residents, government officials and stakeholders, to work towards exercising prudence, guaranteeing transparency, accountability and sealing all possible loopholes for corruption and wastage of resources. As your governor, I will provide leadership in ensuring that our administration upholds the principles of public finance management act, 2012; necessary austerity measures in guiding resource use, allocation and the general management of public affairs.
I urge all of you to support our efforts to bring change to Baringo. May we all work hard and embrace a unity of purpose as the driver of our county's development. This will enable us to build one united, secure and competitive county.
As I conclude my remarks, may I take this opportunity to recognize and congratulate the candidates who sat for KCPE this and passed with flying colours. I will single out the top ten performers in the county namely;
1. Kipchumba Barbra (Mogotio Little Friends): 431
2. Kiplagat Lucy (Neswin Academy Solian): 430
3. Daniel Kipng'etich (Esageri Primary Sch): 428
4. Kiprop Onesmus (Mogotio Little Friends): 426
5. Siyabei Titus (Mogotio Little Friends): 423
6. Kipng'eno Raphael (Mogotio Little Friends): 421
7. Kiprono Victor (Mogotio Little Friends): 415
8. Faith chemutai (Aic visa oshwal) -414
9. Faith Jeruto (Marigat Town Fellowship)-411
10. Joy Jeptui( Atiar Primary) 411
Alongside these champions, there are others who surmounted real challenges of insecurity, trauma and hunger and managed to post sterling results like Joy Jeptui (Atiar primary) despite her mathematics teacher being killed days to the exam in the border of Tiaty and Baringo North Sub County and she performed well the exams. Kipng’etich Kipon (Makutani pry) -395, Jeremiah Silale (Kapindasum primary) -365 among others. May I also thank and congratulate the various choirs, cultural performers and artists that took part in the just concluded Cultural Music Festivals from the county level, regional level in Nanyuki and finally at National level in Kakamega. Well done.
Finally, the December festive season and the holidays are here with us yet again. The annual Baringo Cultural Festival and Kimalel Goat Auction will be held on a date in the third week of December 2017 and you are all invited to buy the tasty, naturally salted and flavoured Baringo goat for your family, friends, and workmates for enjoying this festive season. Even as we take time to join our families and friends in celebrating the various occasions and special days that come with this time, I urge you to stay safe, be cautious and indulge in moderation.
Ladies and Gentlemen, let me end by to wishing you all, a merry Christmas and a happy new year 2018.
Thank you very much.
God Bless Kenya, God Bless Baringo, and May God Bless each one of you.