Open Letter to Members of Isiolo County Assembly
Greetings to you all Hon members!
Ladies and Gentlemen. First, a belated congratulations on your elections/nominations! Please allow me to address you through this platform for I do not know how else I can get this message to you individually or collectively.
Secondly, please count yourself lucky that you are now a Member of the County Assembly (MCA) of Isiolo. This is important for you’re not necessarily the best but for some different reasons you got that fundamental opportunity to represent the people of Isiolo. I must remind you that this is perhaps the most challenging yet rewarding responsibility overlooked by many in the new dispensation.
The County Assembly is no doubt, the cornerstone and foundation of devolution. I’m sure many have told you already but it’s necessary that you take time to understand the role of an MCA. Your legislative and oversight role should come first before any other, more important is your understanding of your role as the representatives of the people at the lowest level. More than ever before what we need in Isiolo now is better legislation by the County Assembly which is your cardinal mandate. You’re the nerve center of devolution and the primary contact person to the electorates to fast track development.
Be that as it may, we must appreciate that you subscribe to different political persuasions and you must promote your party agenda/manifesto, but more important is service delivery to the people of Isiolo which is pretty fundamental.
Kindly note that, there are season for development and time for political chicanery. Therefore, as you settle down, aggressively pursue the development agenda of the people whom you represent at the lowest cadre.
The germane needs in Cherrab, Kinna, Charri, Sericho, Bulapesa, Oldonyiro, Wabera, Burat, Garbatulla and Ngaremara wards are basically the same. Our people are bogged down by massive youth unemployment and underemployment, perennial and intermittent water shortage, human and livestock diseases, food insecurity etc. We need better health facilities, improved health care, ideal terms for ECD teachers, equitable bursaries scheme, better infrastructure, clean water and sanitation and other amenities in Isiolo.
We must find a way to empower our youth and women who form the bulk of the under-served and marginalized population. Persons living with disabilities in Isiolo and other parts of the region suffer immense discrimination and exclusion from the development agenda.
Finally, a few months ago, villagers and pedestrians simply call you by your maiden name but now you have a different title – It’s not an ordinary one, you’re now christened Honorable and this ultimately comes with decorum, responsibility and immense obligations.
Please note that the County Assembly is not a place to amass wealth, cut business deals or where you vote on crucial legislative piece under the guidance of the executive, some godfather politician or auction your role to the highest bidder.
Whilst you must be sober and work well with the executive, please resist the temptation of going to go to bed with them.
You must vehemently resist any flimsy overtures to compromise what you stand for and your very role. Don’t run after tenders, for we pay you well as tax payers. Please work with decency and the dignity that befits your new title and status. Work for the downtrodden and peasants of Isiolo.
You must outrightly reject to stamp anything in exchange of a brown envelope or otherwise for this will haunt you for generations to come. This is not to say that you fight or undermine other institutions but instead work mutually for better Isiolo.
Otherwise, I wish you the very best in your new role. God bless the people of Isiolo!
Mr Malicha is a commentator on Public Policy and Governance issues.