Leaders Should Avoid Divisive Politics says Governor Mbugua, Deputy Governor Rutto

By Jackie Ruto

Nakuru county leadership has taken issue with Senator James Muigai for engaging in baseless and incisive politics that is intended to bring division in the county.

Governor Kinuthia Mbugua speaking at a function in Njoro, lamented that the senator has been holding meetings with the youth and using money to propagate negative issues about the county, which are untrue.

‘How can someone who is never seen in the county and only appears every six months know what is going on? As a leader, you should be on the forefront in serving the people of Nakuru instead of sitting on the fence and engaging in baseless politics,’ said Mbugua.

Mbugua added that everyone and especially leaders in the county should get their facts right while discussing issues of the county.

Misplaced facts and lack of information, said the governor, were the reasons some of these leaders attack the government.

‘It is true we had an audit query just like any other county government but it’s not that ours was special.

The senate summoned me and I appeared to answer to the queries. Why would someone who is a leader in the county not get his facts right about this report? Why would he hold meetings in hotels to discuss this report?’ he posed.

He said that it was queer that only one out of over 10 leaders in the county is the one who doesn’t work in unity with the county government adding that the recent step by the Senator of repairing of roads in Naivasha using his machines are only meant to discredit what the county government is doing.

‘We know that the issue of the senator of repairing roads is his personal business and its okay because we have roads everywhere that can be repaired but let him not use this to dishonor the efforts the county is putting in development matters,’ said Mbugua.

Mbugua called on Nakuru resident to appreciate all efforts put by the county government to bring change in their lives adding that most development challenges were inherited but with time they shall be overcome.

At the same time, Nakuru County Deputy Governor Joseph Rutto has also dismissed claims by Senator James Mungai that the County Government of Nakuru is ineffective as baseless and laced with malice for political gain.

Speaking separately at his office, Rutto has said the Nakuru Senator has abandoned the responsibilities he was elected for by the people and assumed the role of an absentee prefect instead of join hands with other Nakuru leaders to improve the county.

‘James is a visitor to our county. How many times has he been here? If I go to any of our sub-county with James will people recognize him as their senator? People are asking where did James go to? He appears when inciting the people against the County Government of Nakuru and other elected leaders’, said the Deputy Governor.

Rutto has faulted the manner in which the Senator publicly unfairly attacked the County Government terming it a bad example of leadership.

‘The Senator should have first clarified issues with us before calling a press conference to falsely accuse the county Government or call us to his meeting to respond to his allegations’, said the Nakuru Deputy Governor.

Governor Kinuthia Mbugua has been called to several sittings in the Senate where James himself seats. The rule requires when a Governor appears before the Senate, the County Senator must be present, therefore, it is dangerous for a man of this stature to engage in reckless abandon activities which are tantamount to public incitement added Rutto.

He further said, ‘we are yet to go back to the Senate and clear some issues, thus the Senators remarks can be taken as prejudice’, said the Deputy Governor.

Rutto also noted that the Senator should get his facts correct. He highlighted that 550 km of roads have been murramed and 1300 km graded.

‘We have not done any tarmac road as the Senator claims, this is his own creation, from a visitor who is not averse with progress in Nakuru County’, said Rutto.

He, however, said the only tarmacs done by the County Government have been through partnerships such as the World Bank funded Kenya Informal Settlement Improvement Program (KISSIP).

The Deputy Governor said the County Government of Nakuru has built and rehabilitated markets in all the 11 sub-counties such as the Wakulima, Kiratina and the upcoming Nasha Market in Nakuru East.

On the PGH renovation funds that are alleged to have been lost, their diversion to other development activities has been satisfactorily explained to the County Assembly and Senate affirmed Joseph Rutto.

He said Nakuru County has achieved cordial working relationship with its health workers and since devolution the County Government has channeled over half a billion shillings in the supply of drugs and other medical supplies to all health facilities in the county.

The Deputy Governor added that the query of Ksh 9 million on between KRA and the County Government was there and was a penalty by the taxman for non-remittance of July and August taxes for the financial year 2014/2015 that was occasioned by the delay of fund release by the national government.

On El Nino, the Deputy Governor was categorical to the Senator that the County Government of Nakuru has not received any funds from the national government for mitigation measures, nonetheless, he noted the county is prepared to deal with the effects of the torrential rains.

Rutto also faulted the Senator for failing to work with the Nakuru County Assembly but has instead taken to lambasting the very house he is required by law to guide.

Youth Should Shun Political Manipulation, Deputy Governor Rutto

By Jackie Ruto

Nakuru county leadership has called on the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) to hold peace sensitization forums around the country with the youth whom are the most affected by political manipulation during electoral periods.

According to Deputy Governor Joseph Ruto, youth should know and refrain themselves from being used as puppets by those who have self-interest and not the interest of others.

He noted that the NCIC through its mandate of promoting equality of opportunity, peaceful co-existence, cohesion, integrity and non- discrimination should emphasize and sensitize the youth about peace including radicalization which he said was a new threat to the country.

‘I know that young people are the most affected by political manipulation and are also often the primary victims used to participate in violence. However all this cam change if we recognize that the role of the youth in our society is to lay foundation for a future cohesive society,’ said Ruto.

Ruto who was speaking during the official opening of NCIC training workshop on peace, national cohesion and integration also challenged the youth to use the constitution and other legal instruments to make decisions that will move the country forward.

‘You are both the current and future leaders of tomorrow and this is what makes your gen generation so powerful. It is my encouragement that you can exploit opportunities that are provided,’ he advised.

He added that since the youth form the largest and most active group in the country, they need to be incorporated in all in initiatives geared towards national healing and reconciliation.

He said that the county government has put in place measures to empower the youth towards sustainable cohesion.

The two day training brought together youth from Nakuru and Kisii counties.

On his part, NCIC CEO Mohammed Hassan lauded Nakuru County for ranking 17 out of the 47 counties in equality and fair distribution of county resources.

Hassan said this has brought peace, cohesion and development in Nakuru which is a cosmopolitan county.

‘Am so impressed by the good example Nakuru has set and I advise them to continue. They have followed the law as stipulated in the county governments act on sharing of resources especially positions,’ said Hassan.

Nakuru’s Free Wifi Bilawaya, Scoops AfriCom Award.

NAKURU, Kenya 19th November 2015 – Nakuru free Wi-Fi dubbed Bilawaya emerged a winner at the Africom Awards held Wednesday evening in Cape Town, South Africa.

Through its partners Liquid Telecom Kenya and the Presidential Strategic Communications Unit – Digital the free wireless internet initiative known as Bilawaya beat a total of 10 top level nominees to win the ‘’Changing Lives” category. Nakuru County Bilawaya won due to its impact in empowering livelihoods to its residents at no cost.

The award which was received by Liquid CEO Ben Roberts at the glitzy affair, seeks to recognize an inspiring initiative that has significantly impacted African communications in the community and contributed to economic and social development.

Ben Roberts, Liquid Telecoms CEO after receiving the award on behalf of Liquid, PSCU-Digital and County Government of Nakuru

Speaking after receiving the good news, Governor Kinuthia Mbugua thanked the people of Nakuru for their patience after the unexpected start to the initiative.

“This indeed is very exciting news for Nakuru County and I would like to thank Nakuru residents for their patience after the bad start to this very important initiative. Indeed we had very many teething problems initially but through consultations with the users and engaging a company that was committed in rectifying the problem, we have finally kept our promise and it will only get better.”

Governor Mbugua also noted that the enabling of this project was key as it was envisaged to boost various aspects of development in the county.

“ From the onset we had a vision of transforming our County and making it digital and with such a recognition it goes to show that we are on the right path. This initiative will continue to enable rapid access to information, which is vital for economic development.” Said Mbugua.

He added- “We have now provided free internet. This now helps us move forward to ensure better research for our students, provision of digital libraries and citizen engagement and feedback in governance.

Since the revamping of the Bilawaya initiative, in March this year a lot of gains have been achieved. This is as indicated via measured results through the sites portal, where the county government has been able to communicate with users and gather valuable information on their needs and behavior – for example through Google analytics that measure visitor numbers and other tools that measure bandwidth utilization.

The analytics show that already an average of 10,000 unique visitors log in to the service – and this number will undoubtedly grow as word spreads.

This hugely positive response has in turn triggered demand for WiFi services across the entire country of Kenya and our technical partner Liquid Telecom has already been approached by five other county governments to implement a similar solution for their citizens.

The technology being used for the Bilawaya service is of high calibre and it is built around strategic points accessed by the highest proportions of the town’s population.

More than 51 nodes are already installed, designed to carry huge capacities with the ability to withstand harsh climatic conditions to guarantee maximum and uninterrupted speeds while surfing.

Meanwhile the County Government of Nakuru is rolling out the Bilawaya network to other sub-counties to meet demand including Naivasha and Gilgil, as well as Egerton University in Njoro, will be connected in due course, as well as more streets and public areas within the Nakuru Town CBD will be installed and the improvement of the existing network.

This project is the first of its kind in Kenya, and sees Nakuru join Kigali in Rwanda and Tshwane in South Africa as the first major urban centres in Africa to enjoy access to free public WiFi.

Governor Mbugua Signs Sister City Agreement with China’s Ningxia Hui County.

By Jackie Ruto

Nakuru County Governor Kinuthia Mbugua has signed a Sister City Agreement with his counterpart Wang Heshan, the Governor of Ningxia Hui County, China.

This deal was sealed in Ningxia Hui County on Thursday after the 2nd Forum on Chinese-African Local Government Cooperation held this week in Beijing, establishing ties of cooperation between the two counties making them sister cities.

Both Nakuru and Ningxia Hui County will carry out, in accordance with principles of equality and mutual benefit, exchanges and cooperation between the two sides in various forms in the fields of economy, trade, education, culture, personnel exchange among others in order to promote common prosperity and development.

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Projects will be undertaken jointly in the agricultural sector to promote research on development and improvement of maize as it has been established that maize is a crop of immense significance to the two counties.

‘Working together on Agricultural sector where shared common interest particularly in Corn improvement in both regions, as both are key corn growers, Improvement of Sheep breeds. Both Counties have agreed to carry out an exercise towards the improvement of sheep breeds by interbreeding sheep from both Counties in ways that provide the best outcomes,’ quotes part of the agreement.

The Sharing of knowledge on growth of dry land rice was another area where it was noted that in Ningxia as opposed to Kenya, rice is grown on dry and even arid areas and this knowledge would prove to be very beneficial for the dryer regions of Nakuru county and Kenya as a whole.

Potato value addition will also be conducted whereby Nakuru County will adapt technology from Ningxia Hui County on processing of noodles through potatoes. This will be enhanced by the establishment of a noodle making factory in Nakuru County in the near future.

Other articles agreed upon include;

a. Both Nakuru County and Ningxia Hui County will carry out, in accordance with principles of equality and mutual benefit, exchanges and cooperation between the two sides in various forms in the fields of economy, trade, education, culture, personnel exchange, etc., in order to promote common prosperity and development.

b. Both Nakuru County and Ningxia Hui County agree that regular contacts shall be maintained, either directly, or via each other’s Embassies, between leaders and relevant departments of both sides to facilitate consultations on exchange and cooperation as well as other matters off common concern.

c. The agreement shall come into force upon signature (already done), and shall remain valid for an indefinite period.

Governor Mbugua and Wang Heshan discussed the shared commonalities between both Counties, particularly in the Energy sector. Both Counties are energy producers (Ningxia: Coal Energy) (Nakuru: Geothermal).

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Governor Mbugua noted; “It is indeed fitting that our counties, Nakuru and Ningxia Hui are embarking on this long-term partnership to link our citizens, county governments, and our business, cultural, and academic communities. I am very confident that this cooperative venture will be highly beneficial to the diverse and cosmopolitan citizens of both counties who serve as beacons of culture and diplomacy for their respective nations.”

Governor Mbugua later highlighted the various opportunities for investment in Nakuru County by Chinese Businesses specifically in the high-end hospitality industry, manufacturing, and industrial development such as roads, bridges, and railways. He also emphasized the need for mutual sharing of knowledge between both regions particularly on education.

‘I envision a future where both Nakuru County & Ningxia County establish exchange programs for students and faculty from Universities in both Counties. Building these relations will stimulate youth in Nakuru County to think outside the box and also build relations of their own outside Kenya,’ read part of Governor Mbugua’s speech.

On his part, Mr. Heshan who welcomed the idea of an exchange program between both Counties said that he would like a forum for discussion on the same to be established by beginning of 2016.

Before next year’s Forum on Chinese-African Local Government Cooperation to be held in Ningxia County, Governor Wang Heshan will visit Nakuru County.

Earlier in the week Governor Mbugua conducted presentations at the 2nd Forum on China-Africa Local Government Cooperation, in Beijing where he shared on the immense opportunities available for investment in Kenya within various sectors including health, tourism, education, agribusiness etc.

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The Governor also engaged potential investors with several Chinese firms setting up meetings to discuss further the available opportunities in Nakuru County, including Anhui Foreign Economic Construction (Group) Co., Ltd. (AFECC) is a large-scale multi-operational enterprise, Kyan Dagang Road Machinery Co. Ltd, a company that has worked all across African (Kenya included) providing road rehabilitation solutions with various machineries and techniques.

At the signing ceremony Governor Mbugua was award the seal of camaraderie and appreciation by Governor Heshan.

Governor Kinuthia Mbugua receving the camaraderie appreciation award from Ningxia's Governor Wang Heshan

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Governor Mbugua was accompanied by the County Secretary Joseph Motari, the Leader of Majority in the County Assembly of Nakuru Waithuki Njane, and Kamara MCA Hon. Joseph Ngware Ng’ang’a.

Securing and Management of Nakuru County’s fish and natural fish resources a Priority – Governor Mbugua

By David Kimani

NAKURU, Kenya 5th November, 2015 – County Government of Nakuru is implementing measures to secure and manage fish and natural fish resources in the county as they play a critical role in development of the County.

Speaking when he launched four patrol boats at Karagita Beach in Lake Naivasha, Governor Mbugua said fish industry plays a critical role in Nakuru County in terms of food security and income generation.

‘In line with our vision, we are aware of the maritime sector enormous potential contribution to food security and employment generation, making provision of effective maritime management and protection very crucial’, said Governor Mbugua.

Adding that this is the reason, the County Government of Nakuru through its directorate of fisheries supports fishing industry.

Governor Mbugua observed that fishing in Lake Naivasha not only has an economic impact in Nakuru County but also nationally. The lake has six different species of fish but there are two dominant species; tilapia and common carp which have a substantial impact in Nakuru and the entire nation at large.

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‘Last year, 2014, approximately 692 metric tons of mixed species valued at Kshs. 68.4 Million was realized from Lake Naivasha and this year from January to September, 823.6 MT of fish worth Ksh 97 million has been realized’, said Governor Mbugua.

The Governor also noted that his government is committed to promoting fish farming in all the Sub-Counties as there are indicators that the Economic Stimulus Programme started in 2009 has resulted in the increase of volume and income generated from aquaculture.

In 2015, a total of three hundred and thirty five (335) metric tons of fish valued Kshs.63.4 Million was traded in markets distributed across our sub-counties.

Governor Mbugua also emphasized on observation of safety measures by fishermen to avert tragedies. The governor donated over 50 life jackets noting that some corporates in the county and investors have pledged life jackets donations.

Chinese investors who are in the process of establishing a 900 million USD crayfish processing plant in the area around Lake Naivasha in the company of the Governor during this event donated crayfish traps to fishermen in Kamere, Tarambete, Karangita and Central beaches.

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The crayfish plant will create employment and also foster a thriving ecosystem for the two most economic viable species Tilapia and Common Carp as the increased number of crayfish in Lake Naivasha is feeding on fingerlings of these two spices cause a reduction of their population.

Governor Mbugua urged the fisheries Sub-County office in Naivasha to cooperate with the fishermen to secure the Lake for sustainable use of fish resources. Noting that under the beach management units, fishermen should foster cooperation to gainfully benefit from their trade.

He also told the fishermen that besides the Chinese investment, in this financial year (2015/16) the County Government of Nakuru is investing in a Ksh 8.1 million fish value addition facility.

Karagita Beach Chairman David Kilo lauded the initiative by the County Government saying that the boats will boost patrols, rescuing missions and restocking.

He also reminded the fishermen that they have a responsibility to guard fishing in Lake Naivasha as the county government is empowering them to do so.

Hells gate MCA, Jonathan Warothe assured that all corridors in Lake Naivasha will be secured for the public and the County Government of Nakuru is with the people as the court case is going on on the access corridor to Karagita beach.

Warothe commended Governor Mbugua development track record saying through projects initiated by the Governor water problems have been solved in his ward.

Governor Mbugua was accompanied by the CeC for Agriculture, Livestock Development and Fisheries Stanley Chepkwony and his counterpart for Environment, Natural Resources Water and Energy Richard Rop, MCAs for Lakeview, Viwandani, Malewa West, Olkaria and nominated Hellsgate: Hon. Simon Wanyoike, Hon. Eunice Muriithi, Hon John Chege, Hon. Pater Palanga and Hon. Virginia Gicanga respectively among other county officials.

ENDS.

Plans for Nakuru Airport Gather Steam – Deputy Governor Ruto

By David Kimani

NAKURU, Kenya 3rd November, 2015 – The much anticipated construction of the Nakuru County Airport could kick off soon once all conditions and initial planning is complete.

The airport to be developed by both the County Government of Nakuru and Kenya Airports Authority will be located on a more than 500 acre land in the area around Pipeline area near the Nakuru/Nairobi Highway.

Speaking after meeting with a KAA officials Nakuru County Deputy Governor Joseph Rutto said there is a great need for an airport in the county, assuring the support of the County Government of Nakuru for the project.

‘We seriously need an airport here in Nakuru and we are going to support the initiative’, said the Deputy Governor. Adding, ‘another EIA will done to verify the findings of an earlier report that shelved the plans to build the airport’.

He added Nakuru County Government Department of lands is going to work closely with KAA to develop and approve plans as from the meeting it emerged a master plan is to be formulated within three weeks with the airport to be completed within 48 months.

On his part, Yatich Kangugo Kenya Airports Authority Ag. Managing Director said they were in Nakuru to look at issues of developing an airport in Nakuru, adding that the authority which is the custodian of all airports and charged with development and managing airports across the country views the Nakuru airport as very viable.

‘Kenya Airport Authority sees Nakuru County holding a very huge potential in terms of cargo generation. We know of cargo, which is coming from Nakuru County to Nairobi to be exported elsewhere. We also know the passenger capacity in Nakuru is very high and the area is key for diversions as it is near Nairobi’, said Kagungo.

Kagungo re-assured the County Government that the land which was purported to have been encroached on, is legally owned by the KAA.

He added encroachment issue is being resolved in consultation with the County Government of Nakuru and National Government represented by the Nakuru County Commissioner Joshua Nkanatha.

Kangugo also presented to Deputy Ruto the original copies of the title and deed plans of the piece of land that has been earmarked to also host an aviation training academy.

Ruto on his part warned land grabbers that the national and county government are united against this vice as evidenced by the invitation of officers from the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission and Nakuru’s security committee who had been invited to the joint meeting.

The meeting jointly agreed to second officers from both the KAA and Nakuru County Planning department to review the master plan for proper aviation planning.

Initial reports in regards to the environmental impact were also discussed with KAA re-affirming that they will benchmark with other airports that face a similar problem with migratory birds.

The acting MD KAA said that there are documents showing that the ownership of the land is not in dispute, it belongs to the government and is managed by KAA. Kagungo also warned the public to be aware of the many fraudsters who are claiming the airport land is theirs and selling it to private developers.

The Deputy Governor was accompanied by the Nakuru CeC for Lands, Physical Planning and Housing Rachael Maina, Nakuru CeC for Roads and Infrastructure Engineer Maina Mwaura among other county officials.

ENDS.