Speech By Nakuru County Governor Mr Kinuthia Mbugua During The Opening Of The 1st Nakuru County Assembly On April 18, 2013
Clerk to the Nakuru County Assembly,
Honorable Assembly Members,
It is with great honour that I welcome you Honorable Members of the First County Assembly. I congratulate you for being elected to this County Assembly.
I also congratulate you Madam Speaker upon your election.
Our heartfelt gratitude goes to the people of Nakuru County. It is the citizens of this county who went peacefully to the polls on 4th March this year and elected you to this House.
Let us forever be mindful of the great responsibility they have placed on our shoulders.
I reiterate some of our campaign promises during my inauguration speech. Today marks yet another step towards fulfilling these pledges. We reiterate commitment towards creating a culture of zero tolerance to corruption.
Honourable members you will agree with me that corruption undermines the economy and politics of any nation. It undermines most important institutions and tarnishes reputation of our leaders. I therefore call upon all leaders to shun the vice. It is upon you to make legislation to establish codes of conduct for public officials, new rules for procurement and the strengthening of the audit system.
Honourable members should ensure that there is transparency and accountability in the management of the county’s resources. It is our responsibility as a government to create an enabling environment for the private sector to create wealth and generate employment for thousands of our youth.
We restate our commitment towards forgetting our political differences and party affiliations to work together for the benefit of this county. We reaffirm our promise to unite in forgiveness, reconciliation and hard work to rebuild our county.
During our campaigns we promised to ensure quality education and affordable health services are provided to our people. A Kenyan without education is not empowered to take advantage of life’s opportunities. Let us therefore preach to our people the need to ensure that children are taken to school to take advantage of free and compulsory primary education.
The all-important agricultural sector is faced with many challenges. Yet it is the mainstay of Kenya’s economy. Our economic growth strategy demands a review to farmers incentives and modernization of agriculture through affordable and appropriate technologies. My government will support the revival of key institutions in the agricultural sector. These are essential to production and marketing of agricultural produce.
We all know that water is life. My government is committed to ensuring that people within Nakuru County have access to clean water. You should make legislation geared towards reforms within the water sector. The legislation should separate power of policy formulation, regulation and water services delivery.
Sustainable development of water resources is dependent on prudent management of our environment, Honourable Members know that the county is faced with serious environment degradation. This is due to reckless destruction of our forests and water catchment areas. My government promises to move fast. It will put in place measures to rehabilitate and protect our environment. I want to urge Honourable Members to make appropriate legislation to protect this resource.
Tourism sector directly or indirectly generates many jobs. My government plans to market the tourist attractions within the county. This House will be requested to appropriate funds to upgrade infrastructure in the tourist circuits like Menengai Crater, Lake Nakuru National Park, Lake Naivasha, Elementaita, Kariandusi among many other tourist attractions.
The Jua Kali sector and other micro enterprises are expected to play a crucial role in the creation of jobs in our county. However we recognize that the sector’s growth potential is inhibited by several constraints. These include poor access to markets, lack of credit and poor policy environment. I am urging Honourable Members to make legislation on the development of micro and small enterprises, for poverty reduction and employment creation.
It is important to note that our initial functions include;
Cultural activities and public entertainment
Animal control and welfare
County planning and development
County public works and services
Fire-fighting services and disaster management
Control of drugs
Environmental conservation and
Control of pollution and public nuisance
It is upon Honourable Members to make the necessary legislation to ensure operationalization of these functions.
Before I conclude my remarks today, let me briefly mention that the first session of our 1st County Assembly will need to set the pace for the next five years. It should debate various bills and other matters, purposefully.
Honourable Members will have to address themselves to the important question of providing leadership. We should support and encourage our people to participate meaningfully in the development of this county. Several matters will be tabled for discussion during this session. The first ones include formation of the county Pubic Service Board, Appointment of County Executive Committee Members and County Services Board and the County Budget Estimates.
Members, in exercise of their oversight responsibility, I urge you to be objective, impartial and cautious. It is important that this process be clothed in integrity and patriotism. I implore you not to use these immense powers to undermine each other and particularly the Executive.
Finally madam Speaker, let me remind Honourable Members that they bear a great responsibility on their shoulders. Residents of Nakuru County expect us to restore the glory of this great county. I have every confidence that together we shall prevail. Our moment in history has arrived. For the sake of the Nakuru people let us not squander it. I am sure that we have started on the right foot. The journey towards renewal and prosperity of our beloved county has begun.
With those remarks, madam Speaker, I now declare the First county Assembly officially open.
Thank you and God bless you.