By Jamma Sugow
Nathif Jama Aden was elected or supposedly so (taking into consideration the credibility of the election was questioned before a court of competent jurisdiction) with much aplomb and enthusiasm. Many of the communities that dwelled in and called Garissa County home finally felt that they had been liberated from the spikes of the status quo. They had yearned for a change in leadership and their wish had come to pass.
Here was the man, appearing accomplished in life, a man accredited with building the foundation for the thriving of shariah compliant banking in Kenya. Besides his accomplishments in the banking world, many hailed him as the perfect humanitarian accrediting him with delivering aid to the furthest of the remote villages in Garissa County with his Islamic apparel and apparent mastery of Islamic theology coming in handy. Many innocent voters (me included) could not help it and were in awe of the guy. “This is the guy”, we said to ourselves.
Three and a half years down the line, what we are seeing and witnessing is far from expected. The deliverance of basic social amenities like water, have become a distant dream. Garissa County once hailed as the fastest growing town in the East African region is now a shadow of its old self. Businesses like hotels that depend on water as a major factor of production are closing down because of the relative scarcity of that very important commodity.
Women and underage girls are trekking kilometers just to fetch ten liters of the very precious commodity so they can quench their thirst risking rape and attacks from wild animals on the way.
The water docket gets an allocation of over 400m Kenya Shillings every financial year yet we don’t see the effects of such a mammoth amount on the ground. The governor and his henchmen have gone around with slides and PowerPoint presentations highlighting their achievements but the reality on the ground tells a different tale, one of suffering and despair. The money, rather than being channeled to the grassroots, has filled and fortified the pockets of the governor’s inner circle. We the paupers can no longer afford hiring water boozers week in week out because we don’t have millions of taxpayer monies trickling into our very lightweight bank accounts.
The governor is always complaining of sabotage and using the very active vocal opposition team as scapegoats for his own inability to deliver services to the people of Garissa County.
It is shocking that after three years of devolution and over 15b Shillings being channeled to the county bank accounts, the only things we can boast of are re carpeted tarmac roads and a few floodlights. Such unnecessary extravaganza won’t quench Garissa residents off the thirst they are currently experiencing.
The bottom line is, governor Nathif has been a total wreck, a failure. He is the true personification of incompetence in each and every sense. He is clueless and has no idea of what it means to govern a county. He has lost the appeal he once got from people like me. He will receive a humbling and humiliating defeat come 2017 because he doesn’t have a record to bank on. We are not ready for another five years of excruciating thirst.
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