Kenya: Thirdway Alliance – State of the Nation: Is the Starvation Experienced in 12 Counties Really Caused by Drought and Famine, Or is in Fact Caused by Failed Leadership and Theft of Public Money? (21.03.2019)
I write what I like.
“There is a lot of fake news about what is happening. We have been told that 11 people have died but that is not true. No one has died as a result of the drought and we are working round the clock to ensure that no one dies of hunger” – Deputy President William Ruto
The Deputy President William Ruto better just shut-up, listen to some advice and do something sincere, if it is first time in his life since he left the role as a wandering preacher. It is time for the hustler, the grand standing man of big PR Stunts to act swiftly and actually coordinate the government combined with the whole Nairobi machinery and all authorities. To ensure that the 1 million whose in jeopardy over a warned drought in Turkana gets help.
This is if the DP cares or even has a heart, unless he wants to continue to live lavish and enriching himself on others tragedy, because that is what he does. He sits in air-conditioned home, with a nice green garden, big pool and expensive cars. While fellow citizens go without food for days, because the DP cannot do his, neither any of the other Cabinet Secretaries.
This is really insulting to the people of Turkana. A people who deserves the state to act upon this. Even some people have suggested that its happen every ten years in the region. This means, the state has known about this, as this has happen every ten year. Not only the possible FEWS NET warning in December, which stated this and the state didn’t upon that. Not the Local Government, neither the National Government. They both didn’t act or see it fit to act differently, as the drought, the shortfall of rain was on the horizon. Still, they didn’t think of the consequences, because they are living good, secured and has a pantry with food, anyway.
There been reports of dead in various of villages and counties, however, the state does whatever it can to downplay this. Which is a disgrace, not only to the deceased, but to the public, which knows better. It is insulting to the ones who are struggling and lacking the basics, because the state didn’t plan to grain storage, education in caring for the environment or lean months. Alas, the state haven’t prepared or secured, the food insecurity, which it should have. Instead, they have busy scheduling corruption scandals.
The Jubilee, the DP and the cabinet combined with the local government in the drought hit region. Got to act, wisely and with measures to secure the lives at stake in Turkana. That is, if they really care or more preoccupied with keeping power by any means, while citizens are starving… it is happening on their watch. Still, they are trying to deflect that, its one million citizens who struggles to eat. They got nothing and awaiting handouts, because the state haven’t been concerned about their food insecurity.
DP Ruto, shut-up, listen and take some advice. DP Ruto, please open your ears, get some valuable advice and do something. Not try to PR Stunt this away. That is demeaning and insulting to the public of not only Turkana, but anyone who cares about humanity. Every single person dying because of this, is a foolish death. Because, you and your people could have ensured and facilitated the public and region. So, that it would be prepared for the upcoming dry-season, the shortfall of rain and the IPC 3 level. However, you where busy doing everything else. Peace.
Today is a day of warning, where the government, the local government and its authorities haven’t been prepared or cared for it. In its ignorance, the citizens of Turkana and its draught is happening, because their representatives and the state haven’t prepared for the shortfall of food nor water in the region. Even if there was waning signs months ago.
This is not just made up that Governor Josphat Nanok of Turkana County, CEO of NDMA James Odur, CS of Ministry of Devolution and ASALs Eugene Wamwalwa and so on. Can put the blame on everything else, but not on the intial inaction of their own government post. Even if that is true, because the FEWS warned about this in August/December 2018, because of lack of rain. Still, the government kept pumping like there was no tomorrow. Did nothing about it or didn’t handle it all. Since, who would make a fuzz anyway, right?
FEWS Network Warning Des. 2018:
“Performance of the October to December short rains was highly mixed across Kenya, leading to below-average crop performance and inadequate replenishment of rangeland resources in rainfall-deficit areas. In many pastoral and southeastern marginal agricultural areas, rainfall was below 85 percent of normal, while rainfall in the rest of the country was above average. Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes are likely to persist in most pastoral and marginal agricultural areas through May, and an increase in the number of poor households in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) is expected in localized areas of Turkana, Wajir, and Garissa by February” (FEWS Net, 31.12.2018).
Kenyan Government response:
“The National Government has provided total of Kshs. 1,351,196,000 for response during the period of February, March and April 2019 as follows: Food and safety net Kshs. 601,196,000. Support to household irrigation water storage program (excavation of small water pans) Kshs. 600,000,000. Support to water trucking, maintenance and rehabilitation of boreholes Kshs. 150,000,000. Water trucking by NDMA in Mandera, Wajir, Turkana, Garissa, Marsabit and Tana River and maintenance of water points in selected areas. Hunger Safety Net Programme cash transfers by NDMA in Turkana, Wajir, Mandera and Marsabit” (…) “Nevertheless, the below-average short rains have slightly increased the food insecure population from 655,800 in August 2018 to current number of 1,111,500, with the top 12 counties having a total of 865,300 food insecure people” (Government of Kenya – ‘BRIEF ON CURRENT DROUGHT AND FOOD SECURITY SITUATION IN ASAL COUNTIES, MARCH 2019’ 15.03.2019).
What is sad is the amount of people starving in a midst of draught, in region, where the state could have acted more swiftly and with more manpower. Because, they knew perfectly well that this was happening. This is in a region where Tullow Oil Company plans to drill oil with over 300 oil wells. Meaning, there is money and resources, which should lead to progress and development. So, that the region and county isn’t as impoverish as it is. However, there seems to be little or none of the seeds of the oil to go to needed projects or facilities to help out the locals.
Instead, the international oil companies, which reached an agreement last year in 2018. Have had the ability to drill for oil and the leaders have been pocketing money. While the state and the local county officials haven’t secure the public. That is what is the initial bargain in all of this. The public officials have been busy eating and now the public aren’t even getting bread-crumbs of the spoils. That’s what is even more sad about this situation. Knowing the region had hopes for the oil adventure and now seeing a drought, which brings even more despair.
Lochikar Basin haven’t brought anything to the local community, other than foreign investors pumping out their valuable resources, while the deal between Tullow and Government remains secret. As well, as the scarcity of water and other needed components of life, continue to run rampant in a region, which should have gotten some of the spoils of the wealth that is created there. Instead, the government cartels and public officials, who does not want to associate with the demise of the people in the drought, eat that up.
This could have been avoided, the state could have acted and the Turkana with their Oil should have had the resources to cope with it and be able to buy the needed imports of food and water. Alas, someone else is eating that, as long as the oil trucks are driving to Mombasa and the public see less or little of trade of it all.
While the sun is burning, little or no rain, while they await for a handout, when the government could have footed the bill, by the earnings of the oil alone. Peace.
“My concern is not leadership… My concern is to initiate projects that will change the lives of Kenyans… If you think you can threaten me, look for someone else. I will seek votes from you like any other person… whether you vote for us or not. It will not be the end of the world” – Uhuru Kenyatta in Turkana in 8th March rally there!
That the current President of Kenya Uhuru Kenyatta of the Jubilee Alliance Party who is starting the rallies for the General Election of August 2017. The President was in Turkana County as the man with the plan, but suddenly as the Governor Josephat Nanok addressed the government and their ways of taking funds from the County. This is county that has about a 1 million citizens, maybe not Kalenjin or Kikuyu, but still Kenyan citizens. So Kenyatta still represent these people if he likes it or not. The Elmoro and other pastoral tribes still deserve his service delivery.
As the press release after the visit of the county was even saying this:
“President Uhuru Kenyatta has criticised Turkana Governor Joseph Nanok, saying the arid county had little to show for more than Kshs 40 billion of devolved funds disbursed over the last four years. President Kenyatta said the ODM-led county was a shameful example of poor service delivery to Kenyans” (President.go.ke, 2017).
So that he in heated words to the public in Turkana had to even dismiss the governor and his opposition party. That shows that he forget his own place as his government hasn’t really showed that much acts or delivery to the Council of Governors who has even address the lack of funds. Therefore, that his address of Turkana Governor Nanok is weak tea.
That the Turkana people deserved better from their President, is without a doubt. It is the governors wish and will to get more for his county, as much the President wants more his nation when he do deals with foreign nations. Therefore, Kenyatta had to a few years back defended the sugar-agreement with Uganda. Surely, people have forgotten that trade and border trade with Uganda. Still, the Turkana County Governor is only defending his own record and his own county. The President is allowed to do the same, but for someone who is now rallying for his second term, these sort of words sounds out of bounds.
That President Kenyatta attacks a ODM Governor with this sorts of outburst and claims, as well as saying that the citizens and voters of Turkana doesn’t matter is special. Kenyatta saying he doesn’t need Turkana people and the Elmoro, is really disturbing, as he surely would need their resources and oil. The Kenyan government would and should support the county, not only for industry, but for their pastoralism and safety. These sorts of border communities have often been neglected, but now with the Tullow Oil fields. It suddenly matters.
Kenyatta should be on the market and prove his character, which he can provide and make sure the governance of the nation is at a better stat, but with the current fate of strikes in an election year, with the growing state debt and the corruption scandals, clearly is evident of mismanagement. So that Kenyatta feels attacked and under fire isn’t strange, but his baseless wounded soul would redeem himself if he actually took charge and fixed it. Since he is in the midst of the government that has created the environment it is in. Therefore, Turkana County Governor might hit a nerve, that went into his spine and therefore he retaliated.
Kenyatta doesn’t want to be weak, even has the turmoil and the election year isn’t going smoothly. President Kenyatta should take credit where it is due, but not scold governors as the peril and the issues of government is created from the top. If there issues with governance in Turkana, it could easily stem for the brazen disregard of governance from the Central Government, which means that Kenyatta and his administration has collectively created the problems.
Lodwar should be more important for Uhuru Kenyatta as his father Jomo Kenyatta was illegal detained there by the British Colonial Authorities, still he now doesn’t need the locals and the pastoral people. The other major town in the county is NGO capital of Loki or Lokichogio. The other important place in the county is Kakuma Refugee Camp, one of camps that the government plans to shut-down together with Dadaab.
So Kenyatta should act wiser and be more Statesman, instead he uses wild-words and allegations that could easily backfire, as I didn’t need much thinking before addressing him without force or write to anything personal about the honourable President. With that in mind, the President shouldn’t need to personally address the Turkana as unnecessary voters in coming elections, because of what their governor did say. The President should just dismiss the Governor, not dismiss a whole county and region. He should apologize about that and should also show that his emotions went running out of fashion. Then if he wants to say something about the governor and his speech, do that with honour of the elected he is in and with understanding the position the President puts him in.
President Kenyatta lost it and therefore it has been addressed. Time to man up and carry it as a man. Confess and deliver the truth, not play for the gallery, but be there for all the people. Turkana County and their people deserve it, so does the rest of Kenya. Peace.
President.go.ke – ‘President Kenyatta censures Turkana Governor for lack of development’ (08.03.2017) link: http://www.president.go.ke/2017/03/08/president-kenyatta-censures-turkana-governor-for-lack-of-development/
The utterances by the Deputy President during the launch of the Kitale- Lokichar road in Turkana on 2nd November, 2016 are unfortunate, misleading and unbecoming.
When a Deputy President lies before the people that he doesn’t know where the funds sent to Turkana go, demonstrates how wreckless and uninterested one is on the wellbeing of a people.
When Turkana County made a presentation in Statehouse on 6th October and on other occasions previously, about the gains of devolution and early Oil, wasn’t Ruto aware and informed? Doesn’t the DP see what others are seeing in terms of development in Turkana?
When the DP sneaked into Turkana yesterday to launch the road, none of the county officials were notified. The Governor was not aware. If this is how Counties and the National government are supposed to work, then it is not in the spirit of the constitution of mutual consultation and respect.
We thought the launch of the road was devoid politics, but the DP demonstrated either lack of knowledge about Turkana or a post Kalolol arrogance where Jubilee was defeated at a Ward by-election despite its local elected leaders causing violence, bribing the voters with money and relief food and the security apparatus looking the opposite way when all these was happening. He should know that Turkanas identify with those who are truthful and committed to their cause. Not those whose intent is to loot Turkana resources.
What did the DP insinuate that he doesn’t know where the funds given to Turkana go? Is he in doubt of his national governing organs; those that oversight the utilization of funds for Counties? Doesn’t he believe in CRA, KENNAO, The Senate, Parliament, the media and the rest? Doesn’t he believe in independent assessment by World Bank that ranked Turkana second or doesn’t he believe in media reports?
Turkana County and its people respect the Presidency, we wish that the same respect is extended. Our people pay taxes no matter how small it is. We cannot compare Turkana with other parts of this country. The momentum is slowly gaining because we all know as a result of several years of political marginalization what Turkana looked like. Now that fairly a huge percentage of its landmass is endowed with natural resources, it is highly sought for.
We will not tolerate political statements that are meant to incite our people.
The Deputy President should learn to inculcate good morals to the people. There are procedures to account for public funds not through acclamations in public Barazas.
The people of Turkana cannot be fooled, they have eyes and they know what is happening. They know how to hold their leaders accountable without being incited by partisan politics of witch hunt.
We wish therefore to ask the Deputy President to open his eyes and ears widely inorder to see and hear what devolution has done in Turkana County. The gains of devolution being celebrated by Turkana people cannot be swept under the carpet. If someone thinks they can wish that away, they are dreaming or in deep slumber- they should be told ” Wake up and smell the coffee”.
Office of the Governor,