The County Commissioner,
All Political Leaders Present,
Invited Guests,
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,

  1. It gives me great pleasure to be part of this year’s Madaraka Day Celebrations to commemorate the day Kenya attained internal self-rule, 59 years ago.
  2. This year’s celebrations are particularly important as the County Governments transit from one regime to another.
  3. Today is another reminder of the valour and aspirations of the courageous people who came before us, fought for us, and departed before they could enjoy the fruits of their sacrifices. We continue to celebrate those great men and women even now.
  4. I am reminded every day that I have served in a county where our forbearers gave birth to some of these great heroes of our motherland who played at the national stage including The First Vice President of Independent Kenya Hon. Jaramogi Oginga Odinga.
  5. Other great heroes made important sacrifices including the ultimate one of death in order for us to attain and celebrate the gains we enjoy today including the freedom of expression, association and choice.
  6. Each village, ward, sub county and county in Kenya had sons and daughters who prioritized the nation Kenya over self, participated in person or indirectly and supported the struggle for self-rule in Kenya and whom we remember and celebrate today. You can identify at least one in your village even now. Remember and celebrate him or her.
  7. These heroes of our independence struggle taught us many things the main one being the need for commitment to a common purpose with no regard to faith, region, clan or ethnicity. They fought the white minority rule as Kenyans and not as ethnic groups. We, the current generation must embrace each other as Kenyans in order to fulfil the aspirations of our forefathers faster and better.
  8. As the people of Siaya County, we must deliberately continue to confront our problems together and reach out to one another with no regard to our faith, clan, and region or sub clan. I have been at the forefront in fostering a unified approach against the issues that confront us. This will need to continue.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

  1. This year’s Madaraka Day celebrations come immediately before a general election that will likely be hotly contested. In the selfless spirit of our independence heroes, I ask the people of Siaya County not to show any animosity nor harbour anything against anyone during this electoral process in order to ensure peaceful elections in Siaya County. This is what our forefathers envisioned.
  2. I challenge all of us particularly the elected leaders to talk to each other more and not at each other as has been in the past. This way, we will be encouraging the peace initiative recently launched and being spearheaded by President Uhuru Kenyatta and Rt. Hon. Raila Odinga at the national level through the “handshake”.
  3. I applaud the County Assembly of Siaya for embracing my continued efforts to reach out to them for a peaceful and smooth working relationship throughout the period we have worked together as a Government. This has ensured great progress in growth and prosperity for our people in the last nine years of devolution.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

  1. The last nine years of devolution have been very defining for us as a county. This Madaraka Day should help us remind ourselves of what we have achieved as a county in our efforts to rule ourselves since the county governments came into place. We have achieved so much as a people. Yet so much still need to be done. Let us pause and reflect even as we prepare to advance to the next stage of our development.
  2. Apart from ensuring improved food security in the agriculture sector through our various programs like provision of various subsidies to farmers, we have increased access to healthcare through our Community Health Volunteers and construction of health facilities in all sub locations of Siaya County while providing a friendlier environment for our traders in local market centres through construction of modern markets and provision of solar and street lights across the county.
  3. Further, our water services provision mechanisms have tremendously improved. Nearly all market centres and learning institutions now enjoy access to clean water within their vicinities. In the education sector, our Early Childhood Centres are now well established and equipped to provide quality education to our children than never before with an increased enrolment of up to ten times since 2013. These ECD centres are staffed too. Our efforts to ensure 100% transition and retention in secondary and higher education institutions have seen us heavily invest in education bursaries of thousands of students of Siaya County.
  4. Our roads opening, murraming and maintenance efforts have seen increased access to areas that were previously inaccessible thereby widely opening Siaya County to trade with itself and across the county borders with its neighbours.
  5. Our urban centres are no longer the same, thanks to our efforts and those of our partners like The World Bank that have seen us reclaim and regenerate our towns thereby making them more habitable to the ever increasing urban population.
  6. Our efforts in the sports sector are well known. We initiated the 20,000 capacity Modern Siaya County Stadium which is well on its way to completion in readiness to host national games and attract sports tourists to Siaya County while promoting sports talents among our youth. This is just but a snapshot of what we have achieved. A lot more has happened in our villages and history will be our judge.
  7. We have largely successfully implemented the two five-year County Integrated Development Plans that guided our interventions in the last nine years. The annual plans have also guided us well and should form the basis of the next government’s interventions. These documents were developed by the people and define what the key priorities are in each village in Siaya County.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

  1. Starting a County Government from scratch was never going to be easy. The establishment of systems before the implementation of various programs including the few mentioned here had their own challenges.
  2. Apart from delayed disbursements from The National Treasury each year that delayed most of our plans, we experienced a lot of delays in program implementation too as a result of the COVID-19 virus that saw movements restricted for most of my second term. Yet we kept going and here we are.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

  1. In conclusion, I would like to thank all those partners and individuals who have journeyed with us through the last nine years. Indeed, the most important gift we can give to ourselves this Madaraka Day is to recognize that after the fight for our freedom was concluded, new battlegrounds were opened. With victory came economic, social and political responsibilities. These are the battle fronts that we must continue conquering. To tackle them, we must encourage the spirit of harmony and unity while discouraging any notions of division. Our county must lead from the front in all these efforts. I will work very closely with all stakeholders and the national Government during this transition period to ensure that the gains we have made are preserved moving forward. We welcome all partners to build THIS LAND OF HEROES that is SIAYA COUNTY.

Thank you

God bless the people of Siaya County.