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Mwananchi does not need all this political rhetoric

By Hesbon Owilla
Monday, July 12th, 2021 00:00 | 3 mins read
High Court in Nairobi
President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga display copies of the BBI report after it was handed to them at the Kisii State Lodge on October 21, last year. Photo/PD/File

It had been a while since I had been to a large gathering in my native Suna East sub-county, Migori County.

But early this year, I found myself at the grassroots, engaging with different groups on matters constituency and county development.

 Well, I’m not a politician but in my native Suna East, they are convinced that I should seek a political seat for reasons I later learnt are related to my analysis of politics in the public domain. 

My efforts to explain that my role is basically to help the citizenry make informed choices from a point of knowledge and that I’m happy with my job as a teacher, fell on deaf years. 

Our discussions were on interesting issues and the President’s recent commissioning of five hospitals in Nairobi struck me, because it does resonate with what most of these folks in my native Suna East raised as pertinent.

Most of them decried the long distances they have to walk to get to health facilities. 

You see, a lot of us are probably least bothered about the health facilities because we can jump into our cars or hail a taxi and drive to private hospitals or the nearest public health facilities. 

What we don’t understand is that these public hospitals are far removed from many Kenyans.

In perspective therefore, the President’s commissioning of these hospitals, and at night to avoid the razzmatazz of political crowds and mitigate the spread of Covid-19, seem to speak very well of his consciousness of the plight of most Kenyans.

The five hospitals: in Mukuru Kwa Rueben, Tassia Kwa Ndege, Our Lady of Nazareth in Mukuru Kwa Njenga, Gichagi in Kangemi and in Gatina may not mean so much to folks who have medical insurance but is very significant in the lives of the folks living in my rural home neighbourhood. 

Increasingly, we are learning that a lot can be done to address the plight of the poor Kenyans without political noise. 

In the last four years or so, we have witnessed prioritisation of development geared towards improving the citizens’ lives.

A lot of these grand plans to change the lives of majority Kenyans, have come through some unpopular political moves. 

Political detractors have also pointed at emergent corruption scandals, focused more on failures by the Jubilee government, even from among insiders of the party, but the bigger picture speaks of grand projects that address the problems that affect the common man. 

Nairobi County presents a good example and it is instructive to note that with efficiency in management of resources, services will be delivered to the last man. 

For instance, after a disastrous period where Mike Sonko’s City council handled Nairobi’s revenue, the taxman’s one full year of revenue collection in Nairobi has seen Kenya Revenue Authority collect a record high revenues on behalf of the Nairobi County government. 

An additional Sh1.2 billion was collected by the taxman from the county in the year ending June 30, 2021 as revenues rose from Sh8.5 billion to Sh9.7 billion.

Back to my Migori story and one thing I made clear to my people in Suna East, is the fact that health is a devolved function and not a function of the MP. 

However, these folks  seem to understand that with the Building Bridges Initiative, there will be more resources at the ward level and they argued that their four Ward Reps, will have some resources to channel to issues such as access to health. 

The engagement also boiled down to the realisation that the choice of leaders in the coming elections is critical, because it is leadership at the county level that will judiciously make great use of these resources and improve the lives of the people. 

We would do ourselves a great deal of service if we elect leaders who will put politics aside after elections and deliver to the people.  [email protected]

Hesbon Owilla

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