When Kenyans voted to adopt a devolved system of government, they expected nothing but better services from both the National Government and the County Governments. They saw the new dawn and expected nothing short than the best.
Proponents of devolution saw an evolution in service delivery by the government which they said were going to be taken closer to the people.
“Services will now move from Nairobi to you,” they said, giving hope to millions of hopeless Kenyans who felt forgotten by the government.
In the minds of many Kenyans, devolution meant better services including and not limited to better infrastructure such as road, hospitals, and schools.
In the minds of many Kenyans, devolution meant the creation of numerous employment opportunities to millions of graduates roaming the streets without jobs.
In the minds of many Kenyans, devolution meant farmers and small businesses, (the SMEs) get an enabling environment to carry out their businesses without any interference.
It was never about corruption, nepotism, tribalism, incompetence, raping, murdering and running away from the arm of the law.
What Kenyans got as devolution is not what they expected. Instead of leaders, they received misleaders. Instead of honest individuals, they received thieves, looters, rapists, and murderers. Instead of money from “Nairobi” coming closer to them, thieves from “Nairobi” are the ones who went closer to them.
I stay in Nairobi, and the lunacy that rules City Hall is not worth the time of this blog post. Nairobi is confusion itself whenever devolution is mentioned but that is a story for another day. Today, my focus is on Bungoma County.
I come from Bungoma County, Tongaren Constituency, Soysambu-Mitua Ward. Tongaren Constituency, was part of the larger Kimilili Constituency before it was divided, courtesy of the New Constitution.
So far, Bungoma County has had two Governors. The first Governor was Mr. Ken Lusaka, who served one term. He was one of the most incompetent county CEOs Kenya will ever have. Many know him for the infamous “non-carcinogenic” wheelbarrows. He was voted out.
The second Governor for Bungoma County is Mr. Wycliffe Wangamati. They call him WW. Still serving his first term, Governor Wangamati comes out as another clueless, visionless and agendaless county CEO who sold hope to residents, promised them heaven but delivered them to hell, right into the devil’s bedroom.
I have nothing personal against Governor Wangamati. He might be a good leader but he is surrounded with what the book of Proverbs calls “fools who sing the praises of the king who has no time for wise counsel.”
The first thing that greets you the moment you set foot in Bungoma County is the state is of roads. The roads are so pathetic that the ancestors who went before us would be ashamed if they woke up today without warning.
Last weekend, I was having some good time with my little taxpayer in the house when an image landed on my phone. It was an image of some four-wheel vehicles stuck in the mad. The top of the range cars was part of the motorcade of the Governor of Bungoma County, His Excellency Wycliffe Wangamati.
The Governor was touring Mount Elgon, where his handlers might have lied to him that the roads were conducive for “Baba wa Kaunti” to move on. He was shocked. His motorcade refused to move.
See the image below:
The Governor who was in one of the fully tinted vehicles, was too ashamed to step out, leave alone peeping to say hi to “his people”. Initially, people had refused to push the vehicles out of the mad. They had to be paid some peanuts, word has it, 100 shillings each for them to push the motorcade out.
The conversation across social media platforms emerged after one of the Twitter users posted a tweet to protest the state of the roads in Bungoma County while citing the incidence where the Governor himself was unable to move.
Here is the tweet: (I would highly recommend that you look at the replies of this tweet, you will be both entertained but sad at the same time.)
This is Bungoma County! 😭😭! My home county. The Governor himself got stuck in the mad. Those who elected him pushed his motorcade as he sat comfortably in his car somewhere in Mt. Elgon! Cc @BungomaDigital @WakajuanesCom 📷 courtesy pic.twitter.com/A8kKJxuqkx
— juma G. 🇰🇪 (@jumaf3) September 28, 2019
At one point, in his bragging rights, the Governor claimed that every ward in Bungoma County has at least 5 kilometers of well-done roads. Well, it appears the roads exist in the minds of the Governor and his handlers.
If you want to carry out a study of the most pathetic roads in Kenya, forget about Baringo, don’t even think about the corruption that is happening in Kiambu County, just visit these three constituencies in Bungoma County:
Bungoma County residents have in the past tirelessly appealed to the county leadership and national leaders to prioritize the road’s construction into a permanent motorable road to no avail.
This is in spite of the fact that thousands of residents depend on the roads that also connects various important trading centers and learning institutions in the sub-counties to transport their farm produce.
It remains unclear as to when the stalled Misikhu- Brigadier road shall be done having remained neglected for some time now.
Below is a section of Misikhu – Brigadier Road that the government claims to have tarmacked:
Mt Elgon which is an agriculture zone remains in a poor state with many locals preferring to use donkeys to transport their produce to Chwele and Kimilili markets. The two sub-counties remain highly affected with the poor state of roads as the county concentrates 1.4 billion shillings in Construction of a dual carriageway within Bungoma town that’s yet to begin despite its launch and locals demolishing their buildings.
The constant outcries from locals and the picture of the Governor’s motorcade stuck have painted the county in bad limelight with many blaming his handlers who keep misleading the public on numerous county projects being done yet nothing is happening.
The county’s development in infrastructure remains poor according to residents despite Bungoma County being an agricultural zone with a ready market within Kenya and Uganda whose potential can be harnessed with a better, all-weather, elaborate road network in the areas.
Have a look at what the Governor promised before being elected: