County Governemnts – The new ‘NGOs’ in North Eastern.



By Abdihakim.

Working for an International NGO was once the most sought after opportunity in North Eastern. From the air conditioned off road vehicles to the equally air conditioned and well furnished offices, staff working with them were treated to all sorts of comfort. Salaries and remunerations were well taken care of too and strikes were unknown here.

On the hand, the same NGOs would dish out food stuffs and other items that they will not consume themselves simply because it does not befit their status.

Nowadays, there seems to be a new ‘NGO’ in town – The county governments. They came and took up the modus operandi of the NGOs. Well furnished and air conditioned offices, sleek off road vehicles with tinted screens to name but just a few.

Their service delivery is as poor as that of the NGOs simply because it is as if they work to make themselves comfortable. They stay in well furnished and air conditioned offices complete with biometric access systems, drive around in sleek cars with tinted glasses and are completely out of touch with those who elected them. The only people who can access them are their staff and sycophants. I am sure it is next to impossible for a common mwananchi to go and have a chat with an elected official like the Governor, Senetor, M.P or even a county rep. I wonder then, how on earth they want to deliver on their promises to turn our soil into sugar which was made during the electioneering period.

Instead of working out ways to make better the living conditions of those who elected them to office, they invested our hard earned money on luxuries. Walk into any office of the County Governments of Garissa, Wajir and Mandera and the rest of Kenya and you will see this for yourself.

As the taxpayers we are already burdened by their huge wage bill. The elected elite are the highest paid lot yet they use tax payers money to entertain and treat themselves to very expensive and lavish lifestyles.

Please be considerate in your spending and channel the money to developing your electorate. For example, Instead of buying Apple’s Mac Book pro laptops, which am sure most of you cannot operate, just buy a small dual core laptop that will serve you better and you can operate with ease. Remember we elected you so that you can make our lives better and not the opposite.

But as I write this, my thoughts turn to the electorates. I tell myself that the elected leaders have all the rights to misbehave. But why the sudden change of heart? The answer lies in how we conduct the whole process of electing a leader. Blaming the leaders now and accusing them of neglecting us won’t help us in any way. We have elected them on the basis of tribe and financial muscle instead of picking from amongst ourselves a very able, down to earth man/woman of the people. Leaders should not offer themselves for election but we should pick them for ourselves. For example if the local Chief has performed his duties diligently, or if the local Headteacher has been in the forefront of developing our living standards by continuously producing World beaters, then we should hand them the job to lead us as our Governor, Senetor or M.P. – However, that will be a dream for now!

The society must change. The way we conduct our issues must change. We must get rid of tribalism and the greed to sell our future for a thousand or so shillings during elections. We should pick for ourselves one who is best suited to lead us. Wazees must stop the practice of hand picking and imposing a tribal chief on us whenever there are elections. Only then, shall we get a leader. For now we have business men who are enjoying the fruits of their investments. They bought our votes and we should leave them alone to eat their kill in peace till we meat them for another opportunity to do business again come 2017!


Mr. Abdihakim is a concerned citizen from Garissa County. The views expressed here are his own and do not necessarily reflect those of




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NepJournal is Northern Kenya's online newspaper. It is also a space where the leading thinkers and writers from the region bring you unsolicited and uncensored views, analysis and opinion from the region and beyond.

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