Wananchi Watukufu wa Marsabit

FIFTY SIX years ago today, our great Nation, Kenya, regained its self-rule, after 70 years of painful struggle for independence. Our founding fathers set aside every 1st day of June to remind ourselves of the day when all our struggles finally culminated into freedom. As a country, we pay tributes to our freedom
fighters for their struggles and all the pain they endured to set us free from the chains of colonialism. This independent, sovereign and a free land called Kenya, is their gift to us.
However, the founding fathers of our beloved Nation did not name this day as “Uhuru Day or Independence Day. In their own wisdom, they called it Madaraka Day – the Kiswahili word for “responsibility”.

Their logic was clear – That, on the 1
st day of June, 1963, we not only attained
freedom to join the global community of independent countries, but also secured for ourselves the responsibility to directly manage our affairs and shape our destiny as a Nation.
As we celebrate this important day, we thank the Almighty God for all the love and favours He has bestowed upon us – as a people and as a Country. All through the 56 years of our independence history, we have always seen the hand of God in guiding this nation.
We also pay our profound tributes to all those who have had the historic responsibility of leading our country.

From the founding President to the current President H.E. President Uhuru Kenyatta, our Nation’s leaders have delivered their parts in advancing the ideals of our independence.
That is why since independence, our growth trajectory in all the socio-economic and political spheres has been satisfactorily progressive. Kenya has been and remains a beacon of peace and an economic powerhouse in the region. Further, the 2010 Constitution that ushered in devolution is one of the most reformist constitutions in the world.

It is because of the 2010 Constitution that we, in Marsabit County, now derive a special feeling of re-birth from Madaraka Day celebrations because devolution has brought us a more appropriate and practical meaning to the right to self-determination.

It is because of the constitution we gave to ourselves in 2010 that we shall no longer talk about years of marginalisation and neglect, nor tell the stories of lost opportunities, despair and painful struggles we endured for 50 years before the advent of devolution.
With devolution at our disposal, we in Marsabit now have both the responsibility and opportunity to restore our dignity and self-worth as a people in their own county, led by a government elected by them – and only them. It remains a sacred duty of each one of us to join hands, pull in the same direction
and Make Marsabit a better place for all.
Fellow County Men and Women:To make Marsabit a better place for all has been the foremost preoccupation on my mind since my inauguration into office as your Governor about 22 months ago.

As part of the efforts to take more of the decision-making process to the local-
level, we allocated in our first budget Kshs. 1.5B to implement community priorities in their respective Wards. The Kshs. 1.5B for Wards translated to 19% of our total budget and 39% of our development budget.

That is so far the highest allocation that has ever been directed to the community-driven priorities since 2013. In addition to directing more resources to the local-level priorities, as your Governor, I also live by the conviction that the most fundamental obligation of this County Government is the promise to care EQUALLY for all Marsabit people – because this County is your County and this government is your Government – No matter where you are, no matter who you are!

That’s why, the total Kshs. 1.5B was fairly and equitably distributed across the
20 wards of Marsabit with each Ward getting Kshs. 75M.It is however unfortunate that the fiscal context in Kenya has changed and the
next Financial Years’ (2019/2020 FY) allocations from the National Treasury to
the county governments have been significantly reduced. This is something
outside our control.

We have been forced to re-adjust accordingly which means all budgetary allocations including Ward allocations would have to reduce. However, we still have control over how available resources are shared.
You know, in this County we are already grappling with a number of challenges, but I assure you that sharing of resources will not be one of those challenges. It is my promise to you that whatever resources available to us will be shared in a manner most fair and equitable.

So, from wherever you may be following this address – from Ileret, Maikona, Loyangalani, Karare, Sagante to Obbu and Golbo Wards – rest assured that whatever amount of funds allocated to your Ward is the same amount allocated to each of the other 19 wards in Marsabit.

Beloved People of Marsabit:In the same way we pursued fairness and equity in resource allocations, your government has ensured that every region of Marsabit has witnessed every
aspects of development within the means available to us.In the last one year, we have increased the total road network in Marsabit by over 100 km, that is, (from 4400 km in 2017 to more than 4500 km as at now).

We have gravelled 131 km of roads across the 4 Sub Counties. Additionally, about 300 km of roads have been graded across the county to enhance accessibility to market centres, water points and grazing zones and improve
security among others.

Our plan to tarmac at least 8.5 Km of roads within Marsabit and Moyale town centres in this Financial Year is well on course. Already the 4.3 km of road in Marsabit town from the town centre to Chief’s Office of Central Location through Shauri Yako and another section from the town centre to the Marsabit-
Isiolo Highway through Manyatta Otte has been tarmacked. From day one in Office, your government has placed high priority on the health of our people. In this regard, we have already made significant achievement towards improving health service delivery, bringing critical health services closer to the people and reducing the cost burden that Marsabit families face.

In the last 22 months, we have recruited 275 health professionals, which are evenly distributed across all the sub-counties. Both the free ambulance service and NHIF medical cover for the vulnerable persons which we initiated, continue to benefit thousands of our people.

Just last month, I presided over the opening of the New Mother and Child Complex and the Dialysis Centre; the installation of CT-SCAN and Central Disinfection Machines. I also oversaw the completion of dedicated 3-Phase Power Supply System and the commissioned a new High Wattage Generator.

The launch of those new facilities marked more than just another important milestone in Marsabit’s history. It was a strong statement about our health priorities that, NOW is the time when Marsabit People, not just some, but everyone in Marsabit should have better access to better healthcare services.

In a nutshell, we have greatly increased our capacity to meet increased demands both for outpatient and inpatients services, created more spaces and facilities to do more for many more people. We have opened doors to thousands of patients from Marsabit and beyond who are in need of life-saving dialysis
services. The availability of CT-SCAN in our major hospitals is expected to completely change diagnostic capabilities for various diseases, bring diagnostic service closer home, reduce the need for referrals and will ultimately reduce the cost burden of seeking those services elsewhere.

Beloved People of Marsabit:

In January this year, I issued cheques to 194 needy students joining Secondary Schools. Through those cheques we settled all their Form One fees in the schools to which they are admitted – No matter the location of the School or the amount of the fees required by the School.

It is the commitment of your Government that all the 194 students will be fully supported for the remaining years of their secondary education. It is our determination to sustain this effort every year to reach at least 1,000
beneficiaries by the year 2022. Insofar as water service is concerned, we have remained focused on our commitment to improve access to clean water for domestic & livestock use. That is why in the last one year, your Government constructed 10 underground
water storage facilities, erected 14 masonry tanks, dug 4 water pans and drilled 12 boreholes across the County. Of the 12 boreholes drilled 9 were successful.

We have equally procured and distributed over 400 plastic tanks to families across Marsabit to enhance their capacities for roof catchment and storage of water.

Fellow Citizens:
These are just but a snapshot of the progress your Government has made in select sectors over the last 22 months. But similar progress and success have been registered in all other sectors. More importantly, the guiding principles in our development planning and
resource sharing have been and continue to be equity and fairness. I have endeavoured, every day and every minute since I took over the mantle of leadership, to make this Government – a government for all, a government that can move the people of Marsabit to a better Future –TOGETHER.
The philosophies of marginalization and exclusions, the practices of ethnic balkanization, the propagation of hatred and the habits of continuously beating
war drums do not belong to us.

I want to assure you today as I have always done – we are NOT a government that scales back on its promises. We are NOT a government that falls prey to bigotry or gets distracted by ill-conceived criticism.

We are running a government that is determined to do what is right, when it is
necessary, even when it is hard. Whilst we continue to seize every opportunity to listen to everyone, everywhere – including those who differ with us on politics or development priorities – we will not be distracted by negative criticism from those WHOSE ONLY AGENDA IS TO DERAIL OUR AGENDA.
But for those who, despite their disagreement, are still open to objective, truthful and honest discourse, our doors for engagement and collaboration with you remain open.

Beloved People of Marsabit:

We cannot celebrate this day Madaraka Day without giving prominence to the important issue of peace and harmony in our County. It is a matter of great concern that the state of insecurity in Marsabit continues to deteriorate. From October last year to date, we have lost over 30 precious lives due to ethnic

Firstly, I want to send my sincere condolences to the families and friends of those whose lives have been cut short. We should all understand that any loss of innocent life in any part of this County is a loss to all of us. I want to give my assurance that the Marsabit County Government will stand with all bereaved families in the best way we can.It is really unfortunate that in this county our ethnicity has been misused to breed hatred and cause conflicts – year in, year out. But despite all the unending conflicts, no community has emerged as victorious – because, they can never be a VICTOR in a war – there are only VICTIMS of war!

It is however very clear that – victory or no victory – there are individuals and groups amongst us who are not comfortable with the ideals of unity, harmony a cohesion in Marsabit, and would want to keep us divided and remain angry at each other all round the year – BECAUSE in our division, anger and conflicts lies their path to power, privilege and business opportunities.

Great People of Marsabit:

It would be very foolish for anyone to choose the path of war and destructions just to advance some narrow and limited interest of some few. The only viable path to our survival – collectively and individually – is to build the kind of peace that will make life in Marsabit better for us all – Peace that can allow all
communities to live and grow together and to build a better life for our children.

Of course, the war mongers who thrive on ethnic division will tell you that peace will never come between this and that community, and that there is no common ground that can bring us together. But the vast majority of our people know that there are more that unite us than divide us. We know that peace is not an elusive goal. We have ended several conflicts in the past and lived together in peace for ages.

We must return to reason TOGETHER and act TOGETHER to prevent the kind of bloodshed and horrors we have witnessed in the past. We must all turn our backs upon the ugly past and look to the future. We must say enough is enough to those who want to sustain conflicts, wars and hatreds in the name of

There’s no doubt that wrongs and injuries have been inflicted on each one of us with equal pain and miseries endured on all sides. But we cannot afford to carry forward the hatreds and revenges from the wars of the past. There is absolutely no need for any further agony than has already been created. Let’s all rise to the clarion call to save ourselves, our county and our children from future agonies.

I appeal to all the leaders and elders, the elites, youth and students, all Marsabit men and women – those living within the county and those who are outside but who still regard Marsabit as their home – to respond to the call for peace and act together to end all conflicts in our midst.

We may have to admit that a steady state of perfect peace is not an easy goal. Differences will always be there, and potentials for tensions and conflicts always remain.

But as your Governor, I want to re-affirm my commitment to work with the all leadership of our County and existing peace structures to facilitate efforts towards fostering a meaningful, sustainable and durable peace in our County. We all know the great efforts and work done by Marsabit Interfaith Council and
the County Peace Committee on many occasions to bring warring communities
to the arbitration table and successfully brokered peace agreements and cessation of hostilities. For that, I cannot thank them enough and it is my plea to them to continue serving us in the best way they have always done.

However, the sad reality in our county has been that even comprehensive peace agreements and declarations such as the Maikona/Walda Peace Declaration of 2009 and the Dukana-Dillo Declaration have always been put to the test by new challenges to peace and changing dynamics of conflicts.
I am now convinced more than ever that peacebuilding efforts in Marsabit need to be sustained on an almost daily basis – Because peace means not only resolving on-going conflicts, but also managing new differences and tensions through continuous monitoring, dialogue and mediation, before those tensions lead to violence and the kind of bloodsheds we have been witnessing.

It is in this regard, and with the view to making peacebuilding work our everyday endeavour that I have decided to establish a new “Standing Committee on Mediation and Dialogue” to provide a permanent support to
the already existing peace committees and Interfaith Council on inter-ethnic dialogue and mediations at community level.

I will in due course consult with fellow leaders, elders and other peace loving citizens of this county and agree on the composition of the committee. In so doing, I will endeavour to see to it that we will rise above partisan approach, go beyond petty politics and put the peace and life of our people far above
personal interests.

I have no doubt that, from our customary institutions and amongst our elders, women and youth, there are uncountable individuals in every community who are able to bridge divisions at the very local levels. I am convinced that internal mediators and local level peace builders are the missing bridges in our pursuit of sustainable peace.

We already know all the hotspots and conflict-prone areas and we may have to
begin with those hotspot areas and progressively extend the committee mandate and coverage to the entire county.

Finally, as we continue with the peacebuilding efforts, I want to appeal to the national security team in Marsabit to take their rightful place in the maintenance of law and order. Whilst law cannot make people love each other, timely actions by law enforcement team can prevent people from killing or
harming each other.

So, I want to urge our County Commissioner and the County Security Team, that in times of tensions, your endeavour should be on forestalling violence and preventing it from happening, and if it happens despite your best efforts – bring the perpetrators to book.
It has been very clear that most conflicts, if not all, are not planned or sanctioned by any community as a whole. It is oftentimes the groups of individuals – working by themselves, advancing interests that are far detached from the wellbeing of the community – who plan and cause bloodshed in the name of their community. No community should be branded as criminals. I therefore implore the Security Team to always try and bring to book individuals behind the crimes, and to avoid the temptations towards equal

distribution of blames on all leaders, elders and members of the warring communities.
Such actions have been counterproductive in the past and are not likely to be productive now or in the future.

As I conclude my speech to you on this Madaraka Day, I want to remind you all- wherever you may be in this great county and whichever community you may belong to – That, geography is a destiny. You have to recognize and appreciate the fact that all the people and the 14 communities living in Marsabit are destined to be here – and we cannot change that. No one can ever change it.

What we can change is our mindset and attitudes towards each other, change
towards peace and accept to live together in love and harmony. So let us then prepare ourselves to change in deed, in thought and in spirit towards Peace in this County Now and Forever!

I wish you all a happy Madaraka Day. Ramadhan Mubarak and Saum Maqbul
to all Muslims! Thank you! May God bless Kenya; May God bless Marsabit

H.E. Hon. Mohamud Mohamed Ali

Marsabit County.