Governor Kuti’s State of The County Address was a Catalogue of Failures
The Governor of Isiolo Dr. Mohamed Kuti read his much awaited speech to a pensive audience in Isiolo’s County Assembly few weeks ago. In the speech dubbed ”State of the County address,” the Governor appeared, and rightly so, to be struggling to convince taxpayers how hard his government is working. Many people were not convinced of his concocted tale and very few bought the import of his speech. Some were heard muttering ”Does this government look like its working hard”?
The system Dr Kuti is super-zealously defending is one marred by cases of mismanagement, misappropriation of funds and open disregard of procurement laws. Dr Kuti has blamed much of what he called his era’s delayed development on the previous administration of Doyo. However, the era of Doyo was a difficult period and not just in Isiolo but all over the Country as devolution turned to be a hard nut to crack. The then new system of devolution and its teething problem was one experienced in many parts of the country. This does not absolve Doyo of his administration’s gross mismanagement of public resources and slow to act modus operandi but neither can it cover for Dr Kuti as the current governor appears to be blaming the previous inept administration for all his destabilising omissions and commissions. If anything, Dr Kuti has not been afflicted by the the problems that bedeviled the former administration, neither in nature nor in magnitude and it is a stretch for Dr Kuti to claim that the past errors of Doyo’s administration is impeding his development record. Surprisingly, Dr Kuti was the Senator during this administration’s reign. He did not say a word against what he now uses as excuses and his absence from the county was conspicuous so to speak. The expectations of the people of Isiolo when they elected Dr Kuti was high. With political experience and maturity, they thought, he was aware of where to take the county and going by the powerful speech he gave during his inauguration, they were not wrong to expect much more than they are being served. Governor Kuti was bursting with ideas and promised to ‘Make Isiolo Great Again’. 2 years down the line, nothing great is happening for Isiolo. Without exaggeration, there is nothing going right for Isiolo. He promised water to every nook and cranny of Isiolo in 90 days.
“In the next 90 days no woman in Isiolo will walk long distance in search of water, I promise water to the far flung areas of Modogashe and Bassa,” he said. 720 days later the people of these places and other parts of Isiolo are struggling with water scarcity. Improved health sector is still a mirage as several facilities are still ill-equipped, inadequate drugs as well as lack of personnel still a huge challenge. The Governor asked us to judge him on what he will achieve. Unfortunately in his 2019 speech he darted between blaming the previous administration and promises for the future. Dr Kuti has extraordinary affinity for blaming others and avoiding the present.
Dr Kuti’s method appears to be telling people (and not been able to show) the development projects his administration supposedly is undertaking. People have grown by leaps and bounds and do not need to be TOLD. They need to SEE the development for themselves. This is reminiscent of the 2013 Jubilee government’s desperate attempt to launch projects it has not undertaken leading to the embarrassing scenarios of launching village huts as part of mega projects it has claimed to have initiated.
It’s now over 15 years of Dr. Kuti’s tenure in various capacities and to date he speaks fondly of how his government is focused on bringing change. Isiolo is still where it was from the time he first got elected as an M.P back in 2002 and very little has improved. We are disappointed, many residents say, because Dr Kuti is a man who has been in political and managerial positions for a long time. He is well known as the man who never lost an election. He was an MP, a Senator and now a Governor. Why then, people ask, is he catastrophically failing as a County Chief? Pundits think this is his watershed where the shame of failure and a humiliating defeat will be tested by the famous yooyah political titan. They say he has been exposed by devolution after a long stretch of ineptitude and incompetence covered by impostor syndrome and a country that hardly calls its leaders to account. Empty promises and laughable campaign promises has been what he offered. Dr Kuti could do better than blaming a previous administration he in fact was to oversight. He should own up his mess of plunder and wanton waste of public resources and prescribe solutions. He ought to share with us any substantive project his administration has planned, initiated and implemented and show the electorate how he spent the Kshs 10 billion County budget. Disregard the PR stunts because we are not going to judge you by the number of white people you host in your office. Isiolo and its people are hurting for development. They want to see what their money is doing for them. They dont want to hear speeches. They gave you a mandate. Walk the talk or take a walk from their lives.