By Alfred Mutua
Machakos is and has to remain the Place To Be. My Government is committed to the efficient provision of services to Wananchi so as to improve, in a tangible way, the lives of the residents and visitors of Machakos County.
Maendeleo Chap Chap is not about excuses or the usual Government, long bureaucratic stories but real 24 hours delivery of development. All employees of the County Government need to realize that our bosses are the people and it is our responsibility to deliver.
Two and a half years after the formation of my Government, it is clear that some tweaking is necessary so that the vision and promises we gave our people are reached.
My Government has faced five major challenges:-
The Kenyan attitude of doing things slowly, badly and with a donâ€™t care attitude that is common in National and County Governments. Lethargy, inefficiencies and poor quality of work will not be tolerated. Our standards have to be of International level.
This disease that has slowed down growth in Kenya since independence and is also affecting us. From Senior Government officers stealing and diverting pipes meant for irrigation schemes to their homes; kickbacks before payments; contractual handshakes; diversion of machinery; theft of revenue; harassment of Wananchi for bribes; siphoning of fuel and even theft of spare parts in collaboration with mechanics.
Machakos, we have been told, is better, way better than other Counties in terms of corruption but I do not and will not tolerate any form of corruption in my Government. Those who have stolen should know that soon they will be spending many years in jail. I already have a plan, in association with the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission to deal with them and investigations are in high gear.
If you want to be corrupt, move away from Machakos.
Our purchase of goods and services has to be based on value for money. Machakos has achieved a lot by squeezing the shilling.
I will soon be setting up a Machakos Anti-Corruption Team and a Projects Monitoring Evaluation Team to unearth shoddy and illegal practices. My desire is that Machakos become the best place to work and live, with a transparent and ethical Government.
Discipline is vital and adherence to policy and systems critical if a Government has to perform. There is a growing culture of insubordination â€“ where junior officers are not respecting their seniors; where directives are treated as suggestions and where Government work is not taken seriously. Some people, instead of working with their teams, spend time working contrary to the Governmentâ€™s agenda.
When my Government makes a policy such as no sharing of hospital beds or all toilets should be clean or timelines for efficient delivery of services should be this or that, this has to be adhered to.
When Government projects have to be on a 24 hour shift development cycle, then this is not for debate. All concerned officers should schedule staff, equipment and necessary implements to achieve the 24 hr work policy and not go around saying it cannot be done. People not able to carry Government policies have no place in my Government.
This, common, pull me down, Kenyan syndrome is also creeping into Machakos. Some of our officers are busy trying to sabotage their colleagues. My projects are constantly being sabotaged left, right and center by my own Government officials.
Some of my officials, instead of protecting my Government and supporting our agenda, work with our detractors and enemies of development, hence assisting them to disrupt our development agenda. Some are even conniving with contractors and suppliers to slow down or stop Government projects. Others run to the County Assembly with machinations to bring down their colleagues.
It is shocking that some of our officers actually photocopy documents, forge vouchers and make night visits to our detractors focusing on bringing their colleagues down. Others shout their mouths off recklessly discussing their colleagues to suppliers, contractors and others.
Hii kasumba ya kuchimbana will not be tolerated. If you cannot shut up about your colleagues, get out of my Government.
Some officers, regardless of how hard they try, are not able to keep to the international standards of Maendeleo Chap Chap. The concept and implementation is way above their head and they are still in the old traditional Government service comforts that are not applicable in a fast moving Machakos Government working towards 1st world standards.
To these officials, we tell them, thanks but you will have to work somewhere else because our enemy is poverty and our people have suffered for too long.
If you are not able, you are not able.
As a result of the factors listed above and other factors, I have undertaken the following changes in my Government. Today, I announce the following re-alignments. I will be announcing more comprehensive changes in two weeksâ€™ time.
1. Ms. Grace Munguti – Ag. County Secretary in addition to her present portfolio in Public Service.
2. Hon. Luka Kioko â€“ Ag. Minister for Water and Irrigation. He is to ensure that all boreholes and dams are active and people are drinking water.
3. Hon. Hellen Kiilu – Ag. Minister for Public Service, Labour, ICT and Co-operative Development.
The Ministers for Water and Public Service will take 3 months compulsory leave.
4. Hon. Dr. Sunil Dhall â€“ To assist the Minister for Decentralised Units, County Administration and Energy. To manage the Energy docket.
5. Hon. Faith Wathome â€“ To assist in managing the Garbage Collection docket.
6. Eng. Morris Aluanga â€“ Chief Officer, Special Programs, Office of the Governor.
7. Eng. Julius Mungai â€“ Ag. Chief Officer, Ministry of Transport, Roads, Public Works and Housing.
8. Mr. Nicholas Makau â€“ Chief Officer, Co-operative Development and Marketing.
9. Ms. Catherine Monthe Nzila â€“ Chief Officer, Office of the Governor for deployment.
10. Ms. Rosemary Mulee â€“ Secretary, County Public Service Board. Suspended until further notice.
11. Mr. Fredrick Kasoa â€“ Member of County Public Service Board will take two months compulsory leave.
12. Mr. Raphael Mutie â€“ CEO Machakos Water Company. Sent on two months compulsory leave and re-deployed for incompetence and for the water shortage in Machakos.
13. Mr. Michael Mangeli – CEO Mavoko Water Company. Sent on two months compulsory leave and re-deployed for incompetence and for the water shortage in Athi River and Syokimau.
14. Mr. Peter Kimeu â€“ Chief Mechanical Engineer. Suspended indefinitely.
15. Mr. David M. Mbatha â€“ Director, Roads. Suspended indefinitely.
I have also appointed the following Task Force Committee to investigate the workings of the Machakos and Mavoko Water Companies and to study and recommend immediate and long terms reasonable measures to address the water supply situation in Machakos town (City) and Athi-River, Syokimau and Mlolongo Areas. They have ten (10) days from tomorrow.
1. Mr. Alfonse Kioko â€“ Chair
2. Ms. Francisca Mutinda
3. Mr. Peter Joseph Mutiso â€œMrefuâ€
4. Mr. Ken Wathome
5. Eng. Fred Mwago
6. Mzee Kioko Wa Mutisya
7. Ms. Kentice Tikolo