|Judge Ogola swears Prof Kibwana into office as Governor|
Kibwana is warming up to unveiling his agenda for Makueni when he opens the Makueni County Assembly in coming days.
Prof. Kibwana, a scholar and former adviser to former President Kibaki won the position through the Muungano waWazalendo party whose mission is, ‘strive to offer the people of Kenya a solid foundation based on democratic principles with a clear and unequivocal mission to eradicate poverty and reduce unemployment, crime and other socio-economic ills of our country’.
Prof. Kibwana among a host of other leaders is credited for his significant role as a 2nd liberator who has relentlessly pushed for political and constitutional reforms.
Prof. Kibwana beat five other candidates with 146,534 votes including Wiper’s Professor Phillip Kaloki who came second in the race with 79,513 votes. Addressing the press and his supporters at Makueni County Hall after receiving his election certificate, Kibwana said he was moved to vie for the governor seat by the plight of unemployed youths in Kibwezi town in Makueni County.
One of his objectives as Governor is to start parallel education to enable those who did not make it at Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) and Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) levels so that they can qualify for Technical training and University Education.
Prof. Kibwana graduated from AIU last year having pursued MA in Missions, Islamic emphasis. He also holds a Bachelor of Law (1976) from University of Nairobi, Master of Laws (1977) from London, Masters of Laws (1983) from Harvard University, and Doctor of Law (1988) from George Washington University.
Kivutha’s win, coming as it did through a little known party and defeating a well known king pin and candidate of the region’s Wiper party is a big statement that locals have overwhelming confidence in him and that they still have faith in him no matter which party he belonged to.
This therefore is an indictment on him to do his best and return the confidence shown in him by working tirelessly to change the way local residents leave.
Prof Kibwana’s biggest asset is his integrity and refusal to be corrupt. His biggest fight in the county will be wrestling with corrupt leaders who will fight tooth and nail to steal. The first such fight is expected to come from the County Assembly where Members of the County Assembly(MCA} will be faced with dwindling opportunities to make money due to the emerging dispensation of devolution.
How Kivutha navigate to balance between cajoling MCAs to endorse his programmes and at the same time press on with his austerity stance is what will define how Makueni will look like in the years to come.
He names his team of ten Executive Committee Members by anytime now and the list must be tabled to the floor of the County Assembly for MCAs approval.
How MCAs will handle these appointees will define Kivutha’s relationship with the County Assembly in the years to come. About half of it is made up of Wiper Members whose candidate (Prof Kaloki) was send tumbling by Prof Kibwana. The rest half comprises of members from a plethora of political parties who may give Kivutha the critical support he requires to have his agenda sail through in the County Assembly.
The governor’s cabinet will most likely comprise of four women and six men, all professionals drawn from the six constituencies of the county to ensure regional representation balance.
A source privy to the appointment process who declined to be named, the listing of the executives is being conducted by a four members committee tasked by Kibwana to help him come up with appointments. It means that Kibwana merely set the criteria for appointment and has left the team to select for him who among the county residents meets the criteria, a very uncharacteristic style indeed.
"The committee is interviewing those eligible for the cabinet positions with strict instructions from the Kivutha to observe regional and gender balance in the appointments. Kibwana wants those qualified to be given the job”, said our informer.
The selection committee is chaired by the Director Kenya Institute of Social Work and Development Mr Benjamin Mutie. Other members are the CEO of the Kenya National Examinations Council Mr Paul Wasanga Mrs Jacqueline Musyoki the CEO of the Water Services Trust Fund, Mr John Kiuluku (ESAMI) and Stephen Kyande (KRA).
Meanwhile Prof Kibwana has warned corrupt civil servants that their days are numbered. I'm corruption free and government officers must toe the line for them to survive because I shall fight corruption like nobody’s business. Stealing from public coffers will not continue under my watch and I advice such workers to quit and look for jobs elsewhere if they feel the salary is not enough,” Kibwana said.
Kibwana said he will mobilise MCAs legislate a requirement for Civil Servants to declare their wealth. “My first task is clear. Such a law will have to be passed and will inform a key theme in my legislative agenda to enable my office review their lifestyle after every six months to establish whether they are thriving on public funds,” Kibwana said. Such positions will obviously open a fierce fight between public servants and the governor and citizens are likely to support the initiative. He is calling on citizens to rally behind his crusade to fight corruption in Makueni.