By Dikembe Disembe
I voted for Dr. Evans Kidero. I voted in Ruaraka Constituency. I also voted in TJ Kajwang’ as MP. Both won.
TJ and I went to the same high school albeit at different times. So loyalty was more to an old boy.
I have met – along the corridors of city hall – Gov. Evans Kidero. He was busy. We rescheduled, same day. He was busy again. Since then we haven’t met. He is a busy man. Which is okay with Luos in power. Ever busy!
Constitution and Reform Education Consortium in its latest poll reports that Gov. Evans Kidero is the worst performer.
I disagree. Gov Evans Kidero is among the best performers!
This doesn’t mean the report is incorrect. In Kenya, the science of polling has its own contradictions which come to bear on the variables, and the final results.
Is Dr Kidero a failed executive? Depends.
Nairobi is a peculiar county. Dr. Evans Kidero is just one of its peculiarities.
Here is a man who stuffed his cabinet with some of the most experienced folks in their own fields. For instance, do you know that former principal of Alliance High School and the inaugural dean of the prestigious South Africa Leadership Academy, Mr Christopher Khaemba, is Kidero’s county man in charge of Education? He also stashed several city oldies – including former town clerks Philip Kisia and John Gakuo.
When he took over, Dr. Kidero found a city hall managed by fiat, with no regulations whatsoever. He found a city council whose half of all the salaried personnel were ghosts! He got a city hall with millions owed to banks and other creditors – including those who supplied, legally, hot air.
Then there were bureaucratic crooks and clerical thieves. Fake receipts.
To steer the city out of the bondage of banks and ghosts – their banks and ghosts mostly themselves – Dr. Kidero became an instant irritant. There is also the little matter of foreskin – ethnicity – which is potent, but which we rather not talk about.
Dr Kidero also found a culture of ‘don’t tax me’ especially among a section of Nairobi businesspeople which has seen a long drawn war whose public manifestation are the hawkers.
From matatu owners, stalls owners, landlords, bar owners, hotel owners to supermarkets etc, so many ‘business owners’ in this city are tax evasive. Each of these groups want services; none wants to be taxed. Yet, representation without taxation is tyranny of the masses.
Nairobi has a middle class, a rich class and the poor. The rich and the middle class don’t depend on the core services of the city county government so would rather pass unfavourable judgements based on their inconveniences like say when traffic snarl ups delayed them from catching up at Kempenski or the other one with white waitresses.
Their lives are private. Private schools. Private hospitals. Private cars. Private jets. Private friends. Private mourgues. Private morticians. Even the catering in their funerals, just like their weddings, is done ‘privately’.
The poor in Nairobi may have an opinion about Dr Kidero. Go to Pumwani Maternity or any other city county health centre. Go to korogocho. Get to the city public schools.
Thing is, Dr Kidero has massively improved service delivery in this city. People dislike his government for not alleviating their personal inconveniences but it isn’t Dr Kidero who designed the roads in Nairobi. In fact, he has introduced several split roads and ring roads than any other Nairobi administrator. Sadly when he – or some staffer in his office – named one of this roads after him (Dr Evans Kidero Road), all hell broke loose.
Nairobi CBD is cleaner today than any other time in history. In fact, the biggest challenge the CBD is facing now is the encroachment by street families most of whom speak a ‘bantu language’. Dr Kidero is a Nilote.
Dr Kidero cannot stop the entry of petty thieves and robbers in his county from his neighbours.Yes, Nairobi is less safe today, but security is not in Dr Kidero’s sphere of influence. There is a full docket headed by oops – a cook?
Dr Kidero has been ethnically apolitical. He has been comfortable with ‘them’ just as he has been with ‘us’. He also doesn’t support Okoa Kenya.
There are other challenges, like Bottlenecks in Financing County Functions, Lack of Transparency in Capacity Building and Technical Assistance to County Governments, Absence of Enabling National Framework, Intergovernmental Fighting and divisive competition and
Legislative Impunity as observed by the pollster. These challenges can hugely bear on the functions of the city county.
Remember, the city county wage bill alone far outstripped its allocation. If you are not seeing any ‘development’ and your mother is employed by the county government, maybe her salary is gobbling up the money – just saying!
In short, Dr. Kidero is a performer. Perceptively, because he is a ‘minority leader’, this can’t register. Ask President Obama. Being an ‘outsider’ eventually comes back to haunt you!
Ooh, and before I forget, what has President Uhuru Kenyatta done? What was the jubilee manifesto for Nairobi County? How about Kenya? Oops, (no) PR!