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Saturday, 17 Jun 2017 15:18 EATabdirahmancajab@gmail.com
The Public Accounts Committee and Public Investment Committee are the two most powerful watchdog committee in the parliament both at national house level and county level, and heading any is seen as reflecting a member's influence in the chamber.
In Wajir County Assembly, the MCA for Township Ward in Wajir East constituency Abdi Osman Hassan chairs not one but both committees, making one of the busiest and most highly regarded members of the Assembly. The roles have come handy as the MCA faces re-election contest pitting him against several challengers.
"I played a vital role to supervise Wajir county fund as the committee chairperson," he told this writer in an interview, describing his role in the parliament and the challenges of holding top public officials to account. The MCA has held the positions since 2013, making him one of the busiest MCAs in the conduct of assembly affairs.
As a result of his position, Mr Osman has become synonymous with the opposition. Whenever there is a bill in the house, his colleagues expect him to take the lead in scrutinizing it to see whether the interest of the public is taken care of. In public barazas, he shows his stand and addresses county officials without mincing his words.
Many are the times that Mr Osman has been compared to Mombasa Governor Ali Hassan Joho, who has repeatedly told President Uhuru Kenyatta off to the president's face during public meetings. The MCA is reputed to be brave enough to fight the executive because of the public support he enjoys.
The holder of a Bachelor of science in information science from Mount Kenya University, Mr Osman has strong training information sciences and hurman resource management. He also holds Higher Diploma in Human resource and Diploma in information studies too.
Before joining politics, he worked with Save the Children, a non-governmental organisation, from 2009 to 2011 as outreach worker. Previously, he had served Iqra High School as a teacher from 2007 to 2008. He also taught in different schools in Wajir Town and worked as a librarian with the Kenya National Library Service.
On development record, the MCA says he was elected in 2013 to find minimal development in his ward. On Health, he has pushed for the County Referral Hospital in Wajir to be well equipped by the county government. The hospital is fully operational, offering all nursing, medical, immunization and surgical procedures of a hospital of its class.
"As a member of the Health committee, I ensured the biggest budget goes to health department in this county," pointing to successes of that as including Alimaow and Hodhan health facilities both of which have been renovated and adequately staffed with personnel. He said the county referral hospital that falls under his ward serves people from the larger Wajir County, hence the need for the county government to invest adequately in it.
On education, he has led the building of model ECD centres for all schools in the ward, especially Wajir Primary, Hodhan and Township schools. He said that since Township ward is a cosmopolitan ward, students from every section of Kenya have benefited from bursaries.
He said on matters of water that he had ensured the town is better served and that he was constantly fighting "big fishes" in the county who are drilling boreholes in the town area and hence affecting the dydrology of the town centre.
On agricultural sector, he said the famers in his ward have got the right equipment for farming under county government grants for farm equipments, greenhouses, seedlings, water tanks, farm engines and trainings.
The MCA has also advocated for the traders expecially during the attempt by the local administration to destruct Soko Mjinga. "My people also benifited from ward development fund," he said.
Osman has also contributed to improving roads. "All the roads that were tarmacked in Wajir Town are found in my ward and I strongly participated and ensured the projects went successfully. Different roads were also successfully murammed and bush cleared for all roads in the ward.
"And while the tarmac road construction was ongoing I ensured minimal destruction both for the traders and locals," Osman said proudly, describing his efforts to safeguard public land from land grabbers and ensuring affordable land rent are charged on locals.
On party politics he said that as a member of the Jubilee Party he strongly supports gubernatorial candidate Ambassador Mohamed Abdi Mohamud as the next Governor of Wajir. "I chose the Ambassador because of his tested leadership, which we saw when he was a minister and MP for Wajir East," the MCA explained.
He said the ambassador "is down to earth, accessible and he can bring the people of Wajir County together".
Abdirahman Rashid Farah is a contributing reporter for the Kenya Free Press based in Wajir County