Senior elected leaders including members of the national assembly and the senate from Trans Nzoia county skipped the county ceremony to mark the 53rd Madaraka Day held at the Kitale Show Ground.
Governor Patrick Khaemba and Speaker of the county assembly of Trans Nzoia David Sifuna were the only significant leaders at the ceremony that was also attended by the county commissioner Anne Gakuria and deputy governor Dr. Stanley Kenei with a handful of members of the county assembly.
During the speeches at the ceremony that was attended by a small crowd that turned out to be sycophants of some leaders including the governor and speaker who were cheered from certain corners of the venue whenever they gave their speeches.
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No single apology was sent by other elected leaders including MP’s Dr. Chris Wamalwa of Kiminini, Wafula Lazaro of Saboti, Wesley Korir of Cherangany and Ferdinand Wanyonyi of Kwanza together with county woman MP Janet Nangabo who rarely misses such ceremonies at the county level.
Others who missed out included senators Henry Ole Ndiema (elected), Catherine Mukite and ziporah Kitonyi all who normally attend such ceremonies.
However despite the absence of the ceremony was peaceful with no incidents to report hence the speakers of the day had their humble time to give their long speeches with the governor taking his time to take the people through his achievements for the last three years he has been in office.
Khaemba whose speech took over one hour in called upon the Jubilee leaders and CORD leaders to embrace dialogue on the impasse about the push for reforms in the independent electoral and boundaries commission – IEBC.
“I would like to laud president Uhuru Kenyatta for meeting the opposition leaders and showing indications of having dialogue to resolve the stand-off about the reforms in IEBC and therefore we urge them to embrace the talks and save this country from the scenario that was witnessed in 2007 where many people lost lives and property,” said Khaemba.
He recalled how such push and pull led the country to a near collapse in the 2007/2008 post-election violence that rocked the country.
On issues concerning Trans Nzoia
On local issues the governor repeated his complaints about lacking land for expansion and planning of Kitale town and continued seeking for land from the national government from the forests surrounding the town.
He disclosed his displeasure at the way the national government has failed to adhere to his appeals despite the county government promising to compensate any land offered to it from the forests or any other state institution such as the prisons and railway land.
The infuriated Khaemba has now called upon the residents to write a petition to the national assembly after his efforts failed to yield fruits.
He revealed that the county will however benefit from 100 acres of land from the Agricultural Development Corporation –ADC that is in the process of hiving the land to the devolved government to put up an industrial park.
Khaemba further send the message through the new county commissioner who is hardly two weeks old in the county to pass his message to the national government.
However he said that there should be cooperation and collaboration between county and national governments citing the ongoing harvesting of trees at one of the forests, a move he said did not involve the county government in any manner as the harvesters came in with permits from Nairobi.
Khaemba criticized those who are ever hitting at devolved units for failing to deliver services according to their expectations saying that counties are still young and should not be guarded by people who are armed.
The county commissioner in her speech assured residents of Trans Nzoia that their security is guaranteed and should also be ready to support the government agencies to curb crime.
Mrs. Gakuria said that there are enough security personnel in the county mandated to ensure security for every resident to be secure with his or her property.
On his part the speaker said that he will initiate the formation of an act at the county assembly to put in place guidelines in remembering and honoring heroes who fought for Trans Nzoia.
Sifuna said that the assembly through the budget committee shall set aside Ksh. 5 million this coming financial year for the construction of a monument for the late political icon Masinde Muliro in Kitale town before setting aside a similar amount in the following financial year that is the final of the assembly’s term in office for construction of another monument for the late Vice President Michael Wamalwa Kijana.
Other leaders at the ceremony included MCA’s led by majority leader at the county assembly Alfred Weswa, former minister Dr. Noah Wekesa and former MP for Saboti Davies Nakitare among other political and government leaders.