Photo: Marsabit County Governor Elect Muhammad Ali(Courtesy of Wario Addis Films) 

Ladies and Gentlemen,
Outgoing D/Governor; County Commissioner; Hon. Judges; Senator; County Women Representative; Hon. Members of Parliament; Hon. Members of the County Assembly; Governor and MD Kenya Red Cross Society; CEO NHIF; Supreme Leader of Gada Council and all Traditional Leaders Present; Religious Leaders,Present; Business Community; Marsabit Professionals; Employees of Marsabit County Government; Delegation from Isiolo and other Counties, Distinguished Guests and the Great People of Marsabit;
I stand before you today humbled by the deep honour and privilege to serve you as the democratically elected Governor of Marsabit
County. I accept the historic responsibility you have bestowed on me with a heart full of love and commitment for our great County.
I remain forever grateful to all those men and women, young and old, who through their selfless efforts and hard work contributed to
our victory. I am personally indebted to the voters in Laisamis,Saku, Moyale and North Horr constituencies who came out in thousands, remained calm and peaceful, and waited in long queues for many hours, to elect me and my able Deputy, H.E Solomon
Gubo Riwe.
In the course of our campaigns, we listened to the voices of our people across the length and breadth of this vast county. In many places, we witnessed, first hand, the deplorable conditions under
which many of our people continue to live. On the 8th of August, 2017, we heard them loud and clear through their votes.
To all those who came out to cast their votes, I salute you! I pledgeto use all my strength and ability to live up to your expectation as
your Governor. Your collective desires and common aspiration is what will drive our actions in Government.
Beloved People of Marsabit;
As we acknowledge our electoral achievement, let us remind ourselves that it is not so much about a victory of one over another.
Democracy thrives on infinite multiplicity of ideas. Moreover, divergence of opinions is integral to politics and we are bound to
disagree as politicians. But at the end of a political contest such as this, the popular Will of the people should be respected, and it
should not be difficult for those who did not garner the majority of the votes to accept the popular verdict of the people. Every one of
us should bear in mind that, the subordination of individual interests for the collective will of the people, is essential if we are to
avoid unnecessary conflicts.
In this regard, I want to urge our brothers and sisters who contested with us, to join us in peace building, reconciliation and
development of our County.
I extend to you all, the hand of collaboration and friendship. Now is the time to set aside our differences and work together to realize our
collective resolve to build a better Marsabit – Marsabit that is stronger & safer. Marsabit that is for us, All!
Ladies and Gentlemen;
Marsabit County is a home to many communities and ethnic groups with diverse social and cultural heritage. This diversity should never be a barrier to peace and development.
Equally, the multi-ethnic composition of our County should not provide an avenue for the political class to “Partition and Conquer” in the pursuit of narrow political interests. I remain convinced that, the aspirations and concerns of the people of Marsabit are indivisible. The dream of a decent life is as relevant to the people of Badhan Rero, Balesa and
Gas, as it is to those in Jaldesa, Kurkum and Moite. Poverty and insecurity in any part of our County affect us all in equal measures.
As such, my Government, in all its functions, from planning to execution of its programmes, will accommodate our diversity in all
its forms. We will run a Government whose objective shall be people-centred; whose composition shall be inclusive enough to
reflect the face of Marsabit.
It is my pledge to you that all the communities in Marsabit will have a voice and a meaningful representation in my Government. In my
administration, the politics of exclusion and division will have no place. I will endeavour to unite all communities in Marsabit and
move them together to a better future.
My Beloved People;
The challenges we face as a people are formidable. But they are not
Widespread poverty continues to persist across the County. Access to social services such as education, health and water remains
Whilst the majority of our population depend on
pastoralism as sources of livelihoods, our pastoral economy is weak, and livestock markets are fragmented, with large parts of the
County staying isolated from the rest of the world as a result of low levels of infrastructure. Furthermore, majority of our youth remains
unschooled, unskilled and unemployed.
Consequently, a considerable number of the Marsabit people continue to rely on humanitarian relief assistance to meet their daily needs.
As your Governor, I will work hard to reverse this narrative of fragility that has characterised our County for too long. I am determined to break down the cycle of the multi-dimensional and multi – generational poverty.
On health Care; My Government shall adopt a deliberate policy to ensure that our people have access to health care regardless of their
location and social status. The health care delivery system currently operating in the County will be strengthened and improved upon.
We will see to it that all the four Level 4 hospitals in the County will be sufficiently equipped and adequately staffed, while all other
health care centres in this county will be made functional and accessible.
Our women and youth shall receive the due attention and support to enable them attain their maximum potential. For me, women
empowerment goes beyond the appointment of few women to
Government positions merely to comply with the constitution. All our actions, plans and programmes will be informed by the
“Gender Rule”.
To empower our youth, we will among other things, support them in accessing a demand-driven, employment-focussed training and
skills development opportunities. We will refurbish and adequately equip al existing polytechnics across the County. We will make sure that each sub-county will have at least one fully functional polytechnic.
World over, it is now a consensus that enhancing resilience is more cost-effective than providing late humanitarian response. Whilst food aid remains indispensable when emergencies occur, risk-based approaches to managing disasters such as droughts need to be developed.
Admittedly, we cannot prevent droughts from
happening, but what we will do is to put in place adequate measures for preparedness, mitigation and recovery from its effects.
In this regard, a range of specific livestock interventions, from veterinary care to water management, as well as targeted support to
the fishing industry in and around Loyangalani are some of the key investments we envision to improve the livelihoods of Marsabit
Ladies and Gentlemen;
Marsabit County shares a long border with Ethiopia and many communities live on both side of the border. My administration will
prioritize cross-border collaboration and cross-border peace-building initiatives to facilitate easy movement of people and livestock across
the borders, secure access to rangelands for our pastoralists and support cross border livestock trade to fully integrate Marsabit County into the regional economy.
This position is in tandem with the national government policy for regional integration as well as IGAD’s and UNDP’s long term strategy for building resilience in the Horn of Africa’s borderland.
In peace building efforts, I fully recognize the critical roles of customary institutions for social cohesion and peaceful co-existence of all Marsabit Communities. In my efforts to build acohesive platform in Marsabit, existing traditional leadership of councils of
elders shall form the primary points of consultation.
Finally, I find a lot of sense in the words of Tom Wilson, an American actor and writer who reminded us that: “Many of us are more capable than some of us. But none of us is as capable as all
of us”.
For those of us who are elected to public office, we must never lose sight of the indisputable fact that we serve at the pleasure of the people and for the benefit of the people. It’s only by working together, that we can shape our own destiny and that of the people
we serve.
Government is the ultimate people’s business. We are required to listen to the people, and we not only have a responsibility, but also an obligation to keep them informed. We report to the people, and people will hold us accountable, as indeed they should. We are
elected to solve problems, not create them.
While many leaders may have forgotten these principles, I can assure you today, that as your new Governor, I will live by these
values every day.
I will work with all the organs of the national government, development partners, religious organizations and al the friends of Marsabit County. We will build a special working relationship with all the Members of the County Assembly, the Members of Parliament, our Senator and the County Women Representative in the National Assembly to pursue policies and programmes capable of building a county where services are accessible, livelihoods are
secure, lives are safer and systems are just and fairer.
As today’s ceremony comes to a close, I wish to reiterate that the true measure of our progress will be the number of people whose
lives and livelihoods have improved during my tenure.
I’d like to ask for the help and guidance of the Almighty Lord. I pray for wisdom, discernment and strength for those of us chosen
by the good people of Marsabit to legislate and administer.
Thank you for being here today. God bless each one of you and may God Bless this Great County of Marsabit.