Ladies and gentlemen,
Today we are gathered to commemorate the day Kenya became an independent country. Through the efforts of the country’s gallant sons and daughters, we broke free from colonial rule and became a country that could run its affairs without allegiance to any external masters.
You might be aware that there was an element of devolved government that was envisaged back then as Kenya started its journey as a free country. That would be neutralized as time went by, and as such we take great pride in the 2010 constitution that ushered in devolution.
Because of it, Kenyans are now witnessing development in ways never seen before. You will agree with me that Tana River has changed tremendously over the past few years and especially under the leadership of His Excellency the Governor, Dr Dhadho Godhana.
Before I say much, allow me to pass the warm greetings of His Excellency the governor, who is attending an important engagement in Madrid, Spain, that is likely to lead into great interventions for the flooding problem that has been affecting some areas of our county for several decades now.
The administration of the governor and I have gone all out to ensure you reap all the fruits of devolution, and you can bear me witness that there are better services in our hospitals, bigger investment in our farmers, water available with more ease, more paved roads than ever before, a major relook into how the fishing industry can be assisted, among other improvements.
Due to those leaps, I stand before you a proud man; proud that through the mandate you gave to our administration two years ago, we have pushed forward the spirit of Jamhuri. We envision a Tana River that will be a model for other counties and I am glad we are on course towards that.
I am sure the 11 freedom fighters who died within our county during the famous Hola Massacre would be glad to note the progress made in devolution so far.
They will certainly feel that their steadfastness was for a worthy cause.
Even the legendary composers of the song that gave rhythm to our national anthem, who came from within our great county, will be proud that Tana River not only gave Kenya its uttermost symbol of independence but also that they are descendants of a visionary people who are using the resources availed to them to create a prosperous future.
Ladies and gentlemen,
In a few weeks, we will be bidding farewell to 2019. It has been a year of highs and lows.
You remember the incidents at Kalalani that were an unfortunate chapter in the history of inter-county relations. But our administration acted fast to involve top officials in the national government towards seeking a lasting solution to the unwarranted intrusion into the county. We promise that never again shall our people be treated like squatters in their own land.
You remember the action we took when saltwater from the Indian Ocean started creeping into River Tana in the Tana Delta sub-county. With our interventions into rehabilitating water brookes, the drying up of plants due to saltwater will be a thing of the past.
You remember the first cultural festival that we brought to the county, and how it provided an example of how we as Tana River residents can harness our rich cultures to boost tourism and to uphold the time-tested traditions of our people.
You remember the opening of the maternity wing of the Hola Referral Hospital by none other than First Lady Margaret Kenyatta. It was one of the many steps we have made towards improving the healthcare situation of our people.
I would go on and on about the highs and lows of the year, but I will stop there for today with gratitude to the Almighty God for allowing us weather through all storms, political and real; and who has granted us the life to be here.
Though we faced challenges, we somehow managed to surmount them.
The year 2020, which is a few weeks away, will provide another clean slate that we can build on. As the county government leaders, our pledge is that we will be more steadfast in delivering services to our people.
We pledge more localized responses to the problems facing mwananchi, more involvement of stakeholders to finance various projects, more water to the arid areas of our county and lesser water trouble to the flood-prone regions.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Let me conclude by sharing with you what I think an independent person is. An independent person is one who, when the time comes to make a decision, first forms an idea at the back of his mind.
Then before he communicates that idea to others, he subjects it to analysis, first in his mind then through consultations with close aides. And when he finally pronounces himself, he firmly believes in his word because he has thought through it.
The Jamhuri spirit encourages us to be independent people. Let us believe in our ideas, provided they are well informed. With that confidence, all the sectors of our economy will be vibrant. The farmer will carry out his farming without seeing himself as an inferior person who failed to get formal employment.
With that confidence, the young boys and girls in schools will know that they are the best brains Kenya has ever produced, and all they need is nurture that creativity in them and sharpen their brains with confidence and they will surely compete with others across the country.
With that independent spirit, we will have more whistleblowers drawing attention to issues of corruption in the county and as such, we will deal with the pilferage of public resources.
Let us all surge forward with an independent mind and match with the confidence that Kenya’s freedom fighters had as they fought for the Jamhuri called Kenya.
Finally, ladies and gentlemen here is to wishing you a merry Christmas and a happy new year 2020.
May God’s blessings descend upon all of us.