Busia County Governor Dr Paul Otuoma whose election was anchored on the Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Alliance ticket under the stewardship of ODM leader Raila Odinga, has expressed his intent to work with the government of the day to bring development closer to the people.
Dr Otuoma added that his engagement with President William Ruto should not be misconstrued to mean he is carving his way away from supporting Hon Odinga. “What we want is a symbiotic kind of engagement where the County and National Government can engage constructively on issues of development because we serve one people,” said the governor as he led county residents in commemorating the 59th Jamhuri at Bujwang’a Primary school grounds in Samia Sub County on Monday.
The governor’s remarks follow a move by three Western Governors; Wilbur Otichilo (Vihiga), George Natembeya (Trans Nzoia) and Fernandez Baraza (Kakamega) committing their support for the President when he visited the region last week. In his first-ever Jamhuri address, Dr Otuoma said he has prioritized the revamping of the health sector, water provision, agriculture, road infrastructure, food security and the blue economy as part of his development agenda
He called for prudent utilization of county resources to ensure residents get value for money considering taxpayers are undergoing tough economic times. “I have noticed that some county government officers are misusing county government utility vehicles and machinery for private use. I direct that official guidelines be observed and enforced in the use of all vehicles,” he warned.
Deputy Governor Arthur Odera said the Task Force assigned the duty to look into issues affecting the County is ready to table its report that will form a roadmap towards finding a lasting solution to challenges facing residents. “We are done with political season and the task ahead is to deliver on the promises we made when we were seeking leadership mandate. The restructuring of the government is almost complete in line with the 100-Days Rapid Results Initiative,” said the DG.
Busia County Acting County commissioner Kipchumba Rutto who read the President’s speech cautioned leaders against making utterances that spew animosity among residents and instead utilize the same platforms by spreading the government’s development agenda. He asked them to emulate freedom heroes who lost their lives for the sake of democracy being enjoyed at the moment.
“I call upon all elected leaders to work together in complementarity to ensure residents get the best from the available resources,” said Rutto. Funyula MP Dr Oundo Mudenyo who represented fellow Busia legislators chided proponents of county cessation terming them as agents of divisive development whose agenda is to serve selfish interests at the expense of mwananchi.
Uganda Delegation led by Busia Uganda Resident Commissioner Michael Chibuika and former Samia MP George Ouma Abot called for amicable solutions to persistent marine disputes, especially on the usage of Lake Victoria where many fishermen have been harassed and even arrested. “A maritime conflict between Busia and Namaingo Districts in Uganda can escalate to a national dispute that in one way or other affect bilateral ties. I want to assure you that we are approaching these matters holistically to protect our ties,” said Dr Chibuika. Mr Nicodemus Namude, an elder and former KANU Branch Secretary urged residents to always endeavour to strengthen the pillars of democracy enshrined in the constitution and uphold the meaning of each colour of the national flag.
The event was held in the governor’s backyard attracting a cocktail of performances that were staged by Samia Ingo Band, Ekhunjwe ya Basamia, Pamoja Youth Group, Kisoko Juakali Dancers, Budokomi Resonate Band, Omonguluk Traditional Dancers, Anyuoni Traditional Dancers, Enjekho Production synonymous with MC Tonde, a tug of war between Busia County men’s team and their prisons counterparts.
Leaders present included Busia County Assembly Speaker Fred Odilo, Members of the County Assembly, County Administrators led by Samia Sub County head Caroline Oduor, Busia Elders Council led by George Wesonga, KUDHEIHA Busia Branch Secretary Justin Kamuye, KEPSHA and KNCCI representatives among others.