Nyanza governors’ 100-day pledges not fully realised

Sunday November 26 2017

Kisumu Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o. Tuesday will

Kisumu Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o. Tuesday will mark his 100th day in office, yet he has only started implementing his development plan. PHOTO | SALATON NJAU | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By RUSHDIE OUDIA
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Governors are racing against time to meet some of the targets they set out to achieve within their first 100 days in office.

Whereas some county chiefs promised to implement certain projects within that period, others did not specifically mention the time frame.

They, however, assured the electorate during their campaigns that they would make several tangible changes in the early days of their terms.

DUMPSITE

Kisumu Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o, who pledged to implement a 10-point development plan in his first 100 days is one of the county chiefs from western Kenya who are racing against time not to let down the electorate.
Tuesday will mark his 100th day in office, yet he has only started implementing his development plan.

It is only last Saturday that the governor started the process of moving the Kachok dumpsite to Kajulu in Kisumu East. The governor says the process will take three months to complete at a cost estimated at Sh97.5 million.

The governor is, however, already facing challenges in implementing this pledge because locals, led by Kisumu East MP Shakeel Shabbir, claim they were not consulted before the move.

He had promised to move the dumpsite to a different location, where solid waste will be recycled and used for making fertilisers and other chemicals.

The Kachok dumpsite has been a menace for decades with its transfer remaining a major topic to date.

The governor is also yet to form village councils and establish the Kisumu City Management Board.

However, Ms Doris Ombara, who was sacked by former Kisumu Governor Jack Ranguma, was recently reinstated as the city manager.

VILLAGE LEVEL

The village administrators will oversee public health and roads. Their job is to enhance policy implementation at the village level.

Governor Nyong’o had also promised to deal with the sewerage and drainage system in the county but he has not gotten around to doing that.

The revival of sugar industries and rejuvenation of rice industries also form part of the governor’s strategy. He said he would do this in conjunction with the national government.

The governor has previously also indicated he will ensure the Sh7 billion Kisumu Urban Project is fully implemented.

Contacted for comment on the status of their projects, deputy Governor Mathews Owili said: “The governor will be addressing the media on November 28 regarding the subject, The 100-day period ends then. But we are firmly on course.”

Recently, the governor said many of the county activities had stalled because of the cash crunch as the Treasury has not released money to counties.

Kisumu has been hit hard by a harsh political environment because of numerous demonstrations that have been characterised by violence, deaths, and looting, which many experts and businessmen feel have interfered with the normal running of the town.

RECRUIT

For Homa Bay Governor Cyprian Awiti, his first order of business was to ensure he sheds off a few staff members he claimed had derailed his work during his first term in office. The governor has since hired fresh county executives.

However, his attempts to recruit new chief officers flopped after the Kisumu Industrial Labour Court restrained him?and the County Public Service Board?from receiving and processing applications for the positions.

The chief officers filed a case before Kisumu High Court judge Maureen Onyango, who ruled that the governor has no powers to terminate their contracts.?

The governor also promised to complete unfinished development projects within six months.

However, a court petition challenging his victory filed by former Kasipul MP Oyugi Magwanga, his main rival during the August 8 election, has left him with no time to implement his projects.?

“The petition is a?waste of our time because we would have settled and performing our duties as required by the electorate,” said Mr Awiti in an interview last week.

The governor said he will focus on completion of some of the stalled projects in the county like the Arujo Animal Feeds in Homa Bay town, Kigoto Maize Mill in Suba South, among others.?

INAUGURATION

The governor, during his inauguration, promised to leave a legacy of development in the county, acknowledging unsatisfactory performance in his first administration.

“We spent five years laying structures for development in the county. We are indeed set to implement the projects in the remaining five years,” he said during his inauguration.

In the neighbouring Migori County, Governor Okoth Obado is currently pre-occupied with the task of appointing county executive?committee members?and their?chief officers, who he says, will drive his development agenda till 2022.
The executives have already been vetted?by the appointment?committee of the Migori County assembly and are awaiting the nod?of?the House.

Several road construction projects in the 40 wards?were advertised last month?and?contractors?are already on site.

“In my last term, I will do projects?that have a direct?impact on the livelihoods of the one million people who live?in this county,” said Mr Obado.

In Siaya County, the court battle pitting Governor Cornel Rasanga and his arch-rival Nicholas Gumbo has been cited as a hindrance to his implementation of various projects within 100 days.

Mr Rasanga had promised to initiate talks with the county nurses on strike in a bid to end their perennial strike and cushion the residents from the difficulty of seeking medical services.

LEGACY

He also promised to fast-track the establishment of Barack Obama University as well as coordinate with the national government on the need to strengthen Odera Okang’o and Jaramogi Oginga Odinga universities, some of the institutions of higher learning in the county.?

The governor also said he would implement a school feeding programme that will target all children in nursery school and eventually improve the quality of education.

Another pledge he made was to seek public-private partnerships to support the large-scale production of cotton to provide residents with an alternative source of income.

The governor said he was committed to providing quality early childhood education in the county as part of his legacy.

“Early childhood development education is my legacy. I will embark on the construction of classrooms in all public primary schools and employ ECDE teachers as well as ensure the kids are enrolled in a school feeding programme,” said Mr Rasanga.

The governor’s other pledges are yet to be fulfilled as a result of the ongoing court battle as well as lack of funds released from the National Treasury to finance these projects. ?

Additional reporting by Barrack Oduor, Elisha Otieno, and Nelcon Odhiambo


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