By Mohamed Abdinoor:
Dear Members of the Wajir County Assembly
Greetings to you all Hon members, Ladies and Gentlemen. First, congratulations on your nominations/elections! Please allow me to address you through this platform for I do not know how else I can get this message to you individually or collectively.
Secondly, please count yourself lucky that you are now a Member of the County Assembly (MCA) of Wajir. This is important for you’re not necessarily the best but for some reason you got to the assembly. I must remind you that this is perhaps the most challenging yet rewarding responsibility overlooked by many in the new dispensation.
The County Assembly is no doubt, the cornerstone and foundation of devolution. I’m sure many have told you already but it’s necessary that you take time to understand the role of an MCA. Your legislative and oversight role should come first before any other, more important is your understanding of your role as the representatives of the people at the lowest level. More than ever before what we need in Wajir now is better legislation by the County Assembly- It’s your mandate. You’re the nerve center of devolution and the primary contact person of most needed development role.
Yes, we must appreciate that you belong to different parties and you must promote your party agenda/manifesto but more important is service to the people. This is fundamental and is what is mostly needed in Wajir and nothing else. Please understand that we have time for development and time for politics and therefore as you settle down, aggressively pursue the development agenda of the people whom you represent at the lowest level. The needs in Abakhkore, Ajawa, Garseqoftu, Basanach, Basir, Lolukuta and Bulla Jogoo are basically the same.
We suffer massive youth unemployment and underemployment, perennial water shortage, human and livestock diseases etc. We need better health facilities, good schools, bursaries, better roads, clean water and sanitation and other amenities in Wajir. We must find a way to empower our youth and women who form the bulk of the underserved and marginalized population. Persons living with disabilities in Wajir and other parts of the region suffer immense discrimination and exclusion from the development agenda.
Finally, a few months ago, we referred to you as Mr./Mrs./Miss X or we simply called you by your maiden name but now you have a different title- It’s not an ordinary one, you’re now Honorable X and thus comes with both decorum and obligations.
Please note that the County Assembly is not a place to get easily rich, cut business deals or where you vote only in the direction pointed to you by the executive/some godfather politician or simply somewhere you can be a wannabe. While it is important to note that you must be sober and work well with the executive please refuse to go to bed with them. You must vehemently resist any temptation to compromise what you stand for and your role. Don’t run after contracts, for we pay you well as tax payers. Please work with principles and the dignity that befits your new title and status. Stand for the poor people of Wajir and God Almighty will reward you most abundantly. You must refuse to stamp anything in exchange of a brown envelope or otherwise for this will haunt you forever. This is not to say that you fight or undermine other institutions but instead stamp what is good for Wajir.
Otherwise, I wish you the best in your new responsibly. God bless the people of Wajir!
The writer is a concerned professional from Northern Kenya with vast experience in humanitarian aid and development work in the Horn of Africa region. He is also a Nep Journal contributor. Click here to Like him on Facebook