By Phil W
Kibwana is no presidential material
There is no denying Prof Kivutha Kibwana has injected a fresh breath of air into management of devolved government affairs.
However, in my well considered view, the former NCEC and Katiba Watch official is highly overrated when he is touted as a potential presidential candidate.
People don’t become frontrunner presidential material because they leverage on PR pictures taken with villagers in Makueni.
Kibwana’s prose is similar to what we saw on the timelines of Governor Alfred Mutua in the first term – excessive PR targeted at national audience but not helpful at all to ordinary folk within the county itself.
On the development front while Makueni boasts of having built its first level 4 hospital, counties like Mombasa have built six such hospitals and rehabilitated Coast General into a world class referral hospital. No one is chest thumping about this.
Two months ago, Busia County was named the top county by the World Bank over its high performance in service delivery and prudence public finance management. No one has suggested Governor Sospeter Ojamoong should now be president.
By the way, unlike in Makueni where water is a scarce resource, Busia county has overcome this by drilling over 100 solar-powered boreholes, one of the flagship projects rolled out by GovernorOjaamong in 2014, supplying more that 65% residents with clean water. A typical resident of Busia will not go more than 5km to reach a clean water source, while in Makueni, the average distance travel for water is 20km.
While one would be mistaken to believe Makueni’s first fruit processing and dairy production plants were the biggest investment to happen in Kenya in 2018, Kilifi County attracted nearly half a billion shillings in new investment over that last one year including a fruit processing, steel plant, and other agri-business investment.
These are just examples to show Kibwana is overworking on the PR front. He should remember there are 46 other county governments also delivering to their people.