Now that Jack Ranguma, the governor of Raila’s backyard, has, albeit reluctantly, eaten humble pie and appeared before the Senate finance committee, it surely is time for the two other ‘renegade’ governors to answer queries raised by the controller of budget.
Isaac Rutto who hails from William Ruto’s territory and William Kabogo who shelters under Uhuru Kenyatta’s umbrella must realise that they are not masters but servants of the people. They must act and be seen to act responsibly and accountably. These two must be told that the time for arrogance, lack of accountability and incompetence in public service ended with the one-party era.
Rutto may find some solace in his tribal ‘kingship’ ambition; the ‘if you can do it, I too can’ attitude towards the Deputy President, but Kabogo has no excuse. He is miles away from cultivating an ‘Uhuru-like’ image among his community. He should take the cue from his party boss and adopt the humility and respect for the rule of law that Uhuru demonstrated by attending the International Criminal Court status conference last week.
Kabogo calls Kikuyu MP Kimani Ichungwa, a ‘test tube’ politician and talks ill of National Assembly majority leader Aden Duale’s ears, so he might have something to say about my anatomy too. That notwithstanding, he should appear before the committee to explain himself especially in light of no visible development taking place in Kiambu.
I have commented before on these pages about the lack of development activities and service delivery in Kiambu and I would have given it a rest if only the county government did not deem it necessary to email me a copy of an advert it had placed in a local daily on October 3, 2014. That was the same day my article titled, ‘Hold it! This is the President’s county’, that laid bare the complaints the people of Kiambu have against their government appeared in this newspaper.
That advert did not change my conviction that the county government is headed in the wrong direction. In fact, it added to it. In 2007, I was contracted by former Subukia MP Koigi wa Wamwere to do a campaign magazine showing how much his CDF and another charitable organisation he was working with had done for the constituency during his tenure.
I visited practically the whole constituency writing about and taking pictures of the projects that had been undertaken and I can assure Kiambu leaders that they were grander than any of those I saw in the advert. Apart, maybe, from the Githunguri-Ndumberi road (and I hope the county ensures a solid job), all the other projects I saw in that advert, were déjà vu images of the early days of the CDF.
How can a county government place a centre-spread ad worth tens of thousands of shillings, to tell its residents that it has or is putting up a toilet at the Kikuyu bus park? Or that it is extending the Wangige bus park? That sounds too much like the CDF.
I am gratified to hear that the county government is laying quarry chips on the Ndeiya-Gichagi road, Kalimoni in Juja and on another road in Gatundu, but a lot remains to be done. Taking out newspaper space is absolute waste of funds that could instead be used to provide service and set up projects. In any case, how many men, women and young people in Kiambu who constitute the majority of voters, buy and read newspapers?
In the advert, the message by the Roads executive sounded like a party manifesto. Eng Njeri Mburu should instead be ticking off the successes out of the Kabogo campaign wish list.
The engineer tells us that the county (despite the outrageous foreign visits by its officials) has not come up with any public-private partnership arrangement and actually makes this out to be rocket science when she acknowledges that, “most PPP(s) contracts can be very complex and risky”. Stop mourning madam engineer, and start working.
Njeri and her colleagues, should not dwell on such clichés like, “rural roads infrastructure plays a great, important (words, words, words) role in transportation, socioeconomic and cultural development and poverty alleviation”, but get down to work and provide services to the people of Kiambu.
Kiambu will not be made “the largest and the most effective service county in Kenya” she is talking about through empty policy statements, but rather by deeds and accountable leadership. That is why Kabogo must appear before the Senate Committee on Finance, whatever barbs he may throw at his critics.
And if you have nothing to say, stop wasting taxpayers money through newspaper advertisements.