Kenya on Thursday marked 55 years since it became a republic, with political leaders taking the opportunity to address citizens who thronged various venues across the country on their development agenda.
The hallmark of the celebrations was a speech delivered by President Uhuru Kenyatta at the Nyayo National Stadium and cascaded to all the 47 counties through county commissioners.
Council of Governors chairman, also the Kakamega Governor, Wycliffe Oparanya spoke at Bukhungu Stadium and pledged to improve infrastructure and services to residents in his final term in office.
“We have also prioritised provision of clean water to households by 2022 … as well as connection of rural households to affordable electricity,” Mr Oparanya said.
In Kisumu, Governor Anyang Nyong’o hinted that plans were underway to construct a 4km dyke along River Nyando as a long-lasting solution to the annual flooding that occurs in the surrounding areas.
Kisumu County Commissioner Susan Waweru asked residents to be vigilant during the festive season and report any suspicious acts or crime.
In Kisii, Governor James Ongwae reiterated his resolve to provide better healthcare and other services even as he warned health officials that they must not compromise services to residents.
Vihiga Governor Wilbur Ottichilo said pending bills, lack of qualified staff and delayed release of cash from the exchequer are the biggest threats to development in the devolved unit.
Nyamira Governor John Nyagarama promised better healthcare in line with the aspirations set out in the Universal Health Coverage.
In Siaya, residents were asked to move to safer grounds to avoid falling victim to the current floods occasioned by the heavy rains pounding parts of the county.
In Homa Bay, Governor Cyprian Awiti declared war on corruption, insecurity and poor infrastructure.
Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru criticised the police for failing to arrest politicians hiring goons to disrupt her development meetings in the region.
In Nyeri, the Tangatanga and Kieleweke politics took centre stage at Kamukunji, with Governor Mutahi Kahiga condemning scenes of political chaos that have recently rocked the county.
Leaders from Wajir County led by Governor Mohamed Kuti called on the residents to uphold peace and avoid being divided by the ongoing debate on the implementation of the recently released Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) report.
In Isiolo, four lawmakers – Senator Fatuma Dullo, Isiolo Woman Rep Rehema Jaldesa, Isiolo North MP Hassan Odha and Isiolo South MP Abdi Koropu – were heckled by rowdy youths who disrupted the exercise for some time.
Mandera Governor Ali Roba said uncontrolled commercial activities had caused degradation of the environment.
In Tharaka Nithi, Governor Muthomi Njuki said Kenyans should be educated on the contents of the BBI report and given a chance to propose changes before it is subjected to a referendum.
Governor Ali Korane of Garissa called for an end to land skirmishes in the town that claimed lives two weeks ago.
In Nakuru, Governor Lee Kinyanjui accused leaders of engaging in early 2022 campaigns, saying they should join him in his quest to develop the county.
Laikipia Governor Ndiritu Muriithi lauded efforts by all stakeholders to maintain peace.
By Ruth Mbula, Benson Amadala, Sharon Achieng, Derick Luvega, Shaban Makokha, Dickens Wasonga, George Odiwuor, Donna Atola, Lenny Otieno, Regina Kinogu, Stephen Munyiri, Waweru Wairimu, Charles Wanyoro, George Munene, Manase Otsialo, Bruhan Makong, Alex Njeru, Mercy Koskey, Macharia Mwangi and Steve Njuguna