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MY NYAMIRA, YOUR NYAMIRA, OUR NYAMIRA

PRESS STATEMENT

PREAMBLE

We the religious leaders under the umbrella body of the National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK) have met on this 13th day of March 2024 at Evangelical Lutheran Church in Kenya (E.L.C.K.) Nyansanda in Nyamira County to deliberate and review the prevailing socio-economic and political state of the Nation and County and reflect on the ongoing constitutional and democratic governance processes with a view of providing pastoral guidance to the duty bearers for a prosperous nation and county.

Our broad discussions are geared towards improving accountability and transparency in service delivery; highlighting the challenges affecting our people; strengthening the rule of law and promoting peaceful co-existence and cohesion among all county residents.

Our discussions have been guided by the words of the Holy Scripture in Isaiah 1: 18; “Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord…”

In respect of the above we humbly wish to share the following message:

1. We appreciate that the current Governor has implemented notable projects and programs but we expect him to create key legacy projects for which he will be remembered. Furthermore, the quality of service delivery and public participation, particularly in the health sector, remains poor due to lack of drugs and essential equipment in most health facilities. Furthermore, the Governor’s commitment to improving ECD education by hiring more ECDE teachers is yet to be fully realized. The County has seen an increase in political activity leading up to the 2027 elections, with many candidates expressing interest and starting early campaigns. We urge all politicians to refrain from early campaigns, which interfere with service delivery and project implementation to County residents. We also urge residents of this great County of Nyamira to proceed with caution and use the few remaining years to evaluate the suitability of those running for various elective positions.

2. The Current Governor should complete all stalled projects that were legitimately launched and budgeted for by the previous regime e.g. Factories, Roads, ECDE matters, Agriculture, and Health facilities. We believe that this is a waste of taxpayers’ money and delayed service delivery.

3. Members of the County Government are using proxies to implement projects as contractors raising concerns about integrity and conflict of interest. We would like to remind the County Government and all other elected leaders that their core responsibility is to implement and oversee development projects in the county objectively. The County Government should ensure adherence to the Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Act of 2020.

4. We have noted increased cases of insecurity in the County in places like Keroka, Borabu, Sondu, Sotik, Miruka, Kebirigo, Nyamira town, Kijauri among others where residents are mugged, trucks robbed, houses broken into even early in the evening, and many other such related cases. The rise of violent youth groups like Kisumu ndogo, 40 brothers, in West and North Mugirango Constituencies among others who are harassing members of the public, extorting money from passers-by, and smoking bhang openly is a cause for concern. These cases need to be addressed urgently.

5. Gender-based violence has increased significantly, with high rates of adolescent pregnancies, defilement, rape, and incest. Nyamira County has received negative attention, affecting the county’s image and popularity. We urge civil society, county, and national governments, as well as parent and teacher organizations, to work together to combat this pandemic, which threatens future generations. On the same note, drug, alcohol, and substance abuse are on the rise, and it is having a negative impact on the boy child. These social vices must be eradicated through collaborative efforts. We should stop pointing fingers and assigning blame.

6. At the national level: the Controller of Budget should disburse county funds timely, and address the rising cost of living effectively, the (NG-CDF, NG-AAF, and WDF) should be centralized to avoid bureaucracy and replication of roles, review tax policy e.g. road maintenance levy, timely disburse capitation to schools, ECDE to University degree be factored under free basic education programme, use NGAO e.g. chief barazas’ to inform the public of the NADCO report and collect views from citizens, not include politicians in the panel of experts for IEBC review process, improve infrastructure e.g. roads, and fast-truck the distribution of subsidized fertilizer to the Chief’s camps for easy access by the farmers among others.

7. We as NCCK Affiliated Religious Leaders in Nyamira County, strongly oppose and condemn the National Government’s decision to deploy our National Police Service Officers to Haiti yet we have our own unaddressed National security challenges.

Conclusion

We the religious leaders are the voice of reason in the county and we advocate for meaningful change in our society. We, the NCCK-affiliated leaders, call upon other religious bodies to unite and speak with courage on the social issues affecting our communities without fear or favour. We remain open to a facilitative dialogue with our county and national leaders to find a lasting solution to the various issues that are of concern to Nyamira County and Kenya.

God Bless Nyamira County! God bless Kenya!

Signed on this 13th Day of March 2024 at Nyansanda E.L.C.K. in Nyamira Township, Nyamira County by:

Rev. Bernard Okeri – NCCK Nyamira CCC Chairperson

July 2024
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