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Wednesday, December 7, 2022

A Sick & Paralyzed County Government

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Laikipia county, a tourist destination at the very heart of Kenya, is maybe the world’s most toured place. This is where roughly 518,560 inhabitants dwell.

Towering over this vast plain at a height of 17,057ft, is Africa’s second highest mountain, Mt Kenya. It sits on the horizon symbolising the greatness that this beloved county has. The frontier of modern Kenya lies on the equator, at a town called Nan­yuki.

Millions of cash flow in and out of Laikipia County’s economy. Foreign currencies exchange hands especially during the peak season as far as tourism is concerned. The little towns of Nanyuki and Nyahururu ,enjoy good money circulation from these economic activities. The return on investment is also quite high. Indeed Laikipia is an oasis of opportunities.

This is as far as the story goes until the reality on the ground hits you. Where I come from the locals would say “kwa ground vitu ni different”.

Despite tremendous efforts by private investors and local hardworking Laikipians to make the County great, little is being felt on the ground from the current crop of leaders. Laikipians need planned, orderly and growth-oriented development.

Why is it that our neighbouring counties, which have been worse than us in the post devolution period arresting development and addressing inequality ?

Laikipia with its abundant resources continues to babble in poverty and inequality? And the situation even gets worse when county employees, who are supposed to serve the public selflessly , are forced to thrive in unbearable working environments with empty malnourished bank accounts gazing back at them .

Why is it that Laikipia being a world renowned tourist destination almost similar to Mara, Narok county; continues to wallow in poverty and have half-witted leadership whilst Narok County has leap-frogged and made tremendous progress in addressing inequality and squalor?

As it appears, the only benefit that locals will get at the end of five years before the upcoming 2022 general election, is the infamous slogan #LaikipiaOnTheMove that only leaves the populace wondering ,are we on the move forward or backward?

The public sector (county government of Laikipia workforce) is the only institution that remains the most vital Institution for the sustenance of growth of the county of Laikipia. And as it appears the county workforce is undergoing some trying times. Being a county employee is slowly becoming a treacherous path to follow. A forge of darkness hangs in their future.

Inconsistent salaries have rendered most county employees beggars and permanently handcuffed by huge debts. Among the one thousand ways to die,working for the county government of Laikipia is proving to be one way.

Delayed salaries have forced dozens of them to thrive in poverty not knowing where the next meal will come from. Unpaid bills continue to pile on their shoulders, as the top brass enjoys ‘parte after parte’ through organising mediocre events that barely add value to the lives of Laikipians. The general county workforce continues to wallow in untold poverty, over delayed and poor salaries.

For instance, the just concluded Lonyiek Amateur fun race suffered a major blow when two top rung sponsors pulled out. It is not clear whether these decisions were prompted by the barren outcomes from two previous bogus fun races. Lack of tangible outcomes forced the department concerned to bear all the costs of the event with tax payers money. In an effort to save the face of the event,the governor was made to race and win against himself.

In the wake of the fun race, a rather unpleasant letter emerged from the County Secretary’s office. Addressed to all employees,the neatly drafted letter indicated that September salaries will be delayed due to, in our own opinion, avoidable circumstances like the Lonyiek Fun Race and other oblivious events and parties.

Laikipia’s leadership problems don’t seem to end any time soon. This week there will be another caravan dubbed “Governor Health Stakeholders’ UHC Mashinani meeting.

At this point,one starts to question the intellectual capacity of the brain behind the caravan owing to the fact that health facilities around the county continue to grapple with high mortality rates.

Those who have the means are forced by circumstances to seek referrals to other counties. How the deputy was left out ,still remains a story for another day. As for now, Laikipians’ can just hope and pray as the executive continues to blow their money fast.

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