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Sunday, July 23, 2017

Kiambu governor Kabogo launches reelection campaign

Kiambu Governor William Kabogo addressing Ruiru  residents. he will launch his re-election bid in Thika on Saturday.
Kiambu Governor William Kabogo addressing Ruiru residents. he will launch his re-election bid in Thika on Saturday.

Kiambu Governor William Kabogo will launch his reelection bid today at Thika stadium, two weeks to the hotly contested Jubilee nominations.

In an interview with the Star on Thursday, the flamboyant governor expressed confidence in winning.

He said that all pillars of his 2013 election drive have been implemented and witnessed in all the 60 wards. They include security, employment, education, health and urban planning.

The health sector, which he says was on its deathbed, remains the county administration’s greatest achievement.

Better healthcare

During the inception of the county government, Kiambu’s bed capacity was 900 and through expanding of health infrastructure in its 108 health facilities the number has risen to 1,700. On completion of ongoing projects, the county will have a bed capacity of 3,500.

The county government has also created centres to deal with diverse specialties in the health sector, including Trauma A and E Hospital (Lari Hospital), Paediatrics Centre (Tigoni), Neuro-surgical Centre (Kiambu), Renal Research Unit (Ruiru), Centre for Non-communicable Diseases (Gatundu) and the Reproductive Health Unit at Thika Level V Hospital.

“The Renal Unit is fully equipped with eight dialysis machines and more than 2,000 dialysis sessions have been conducted. We have also constructed and set up two Intensive Care Units and two High Dependency Units at the facility,” Kabogo said.

Maternal health has also been prioritised, with 22 maternal health clinics being set up across the county.

“About 60,000 expectant mothers are successfully delivering annually, compared to 48,000 in 2013,” he said.

Kabogo said the main agenda in his second term will be addressing the high rate of unemployment, with priority being the Biashara Fund.

He said Sh200 million has been disbursed to more than 3,000 beneficiary groups and individuals with repayment rate standing at 93 per cent. The fund will be increased to Sh1 billion, the governor added.

Kabogo will also focus on agribusiness as agriculture is the county’s backbone, he said. “We will be looking forward to empower our farmers so that they can get high yields from their farming,” he said.

For the last three years, the county government has implemented many projects and most of them are 70 per cent complete, Kabogo said. “We want to get time to complete what we started so we can make Kiambu the best place to live, grow and work in,” he said.

What I’ll achieve by 2022

The county chief told the Star that by the end of his second term, the amount of revenue channelled to developments will be more than that used for recurrent expenditure.

“We are currently at 29:71 and we expect to stand at 60:40 in the next one year, but we will improve progressively because we have already sealed all loopholes where county revenue cash was pilfered by digitising all collections,” he said.

Kabogo said that in the next 15 months the county government will refurbish some 250km of roads that will set the pace for road construction in the next five years.

The county boss said that it has not been a bed of roses to lead the county and the major setback was coming up with a fully-fledged government.

“It was hectic to put together a government from scratch. But we managed because I hired ministers professionally. I didn’t bother to look for people I knew. We also inherited a government with few infrastructural facilities and putting up the county headquarters was not a walk in the park,” he said.

Some MCAs and MPs had piled pressure on the governor to shift the county headquarters from Thika to Kiambu town. He survived two impeachment bids.

Kabogo said he is optimistic he will topple his opponents, including Kabete MP Ferdinand Waititu, James Nyoro, Francis Mugwe, Aquiline Njoki and Rev David Kariuki Ngari, popularly known as Gakuyo, in the April 21 Jubilee Party primaries.

He said he is expecting less competition from his rivals who have formed an alliance — United for Kiambu.

“I am happy that they are together because it will be easy to deal with them as a front as opposed to individuals. I’m confident that I’ll be through with the nominations and I’ll be left focusing on how to improve the turnout in the main election,” Kabogo said.

“I have no issues about being reelected. It’s all about work and the capacity to take Kiambu to the next level.”

He accused his rivals of being hungry for power and money, and having no agenda for the county. “[They are] just like NASA. But the people of Kiambu are cleverer than they think,” Kabogo said.

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