Top Stories / Counties
Monday, 07 Nov 2016 12:45 EATrosemukonyo@yahoo.com
Since he acrimoniously fell out with his boss two years ago, Machakos County deputy Governor, Bernard Kiala has been ‘a man in a mission.’ The 48-year old University of Nairobi-trained economist has been literally on the warpath for two key reasons: one, to encourage public literacy on matters devolution, and two, to wedge a political onslaught against his boss, Alfred Mutua whom he has accused of failing the people of Machakos.
A staunch supporter of Wiper Party leader Kalonzo Musyoka, Mr Kiala has rolled out his sleeves to face off with Dr Mutua in next year’s gubernatorial contest, which many predict will be the mother of all battles. The Masinga-born self-declared democrat has already launched a countywide civic education program dubbed ‘Ugatuzi na Kiala’ where he has been crisscrossing the entire county in a view to educate voters about the concept of devolution.
On his one side is Senator Johnstone Muthama, Dr Mutua’s fiercest critic on matters of governance and financial accountability, and on the other is Wiper party, the vehicle he intends to ride on to unseat Mutua as the next governor of Ukambani’s richest county. While Dr Mutua has accused Mr Kiala of mobilizing MCAs to remove him from office, Mr Kiala has been telling voters that his boss had missed the point on priority areas of the county development agenda, and that his (Mutua’s) government is riddled with graft and nepotism.
“We want to correct the mess that is in Machakos County, and ensure there is adequate public participation on development projects under implementation by the county government, which is the main essence of devolution,” Mr Kiala told Kenya Free Press in an interview.
Kiala says if elected, his government would value and respect the views of the public through involving their participation in line with the provisions of the Kenya Constitution (2010) and in particular the concept of devolution.
“Devolution is about citizens themselves making determination over the projects they want implemented, and in what priority-and most importantly provide a verifiable justification of expenditure with strict adherence to public procurement regulations,” he says.
About two months ago, Mr Kiala hosted hundreds of county residents comprising opinion leaders, professionals, business people, and politicians where he was endorsed to contest for the gubernatorial seat. Mr Kiala says if elected, his first priority will be to dismantle the existing corruption cartels in Machakos County Government which he claims have led to the loss of tax payers’ billions of shillings in revenue.
Rose is a contributing writer for the Kenya Free Press, based in Machakos County.