Five governors and their deputies were sworn into office yesterday amid pledges to unite the coast region as they take on their new roles.
While taking the oath of office administered by Mombasa High Court judge Justice Olga Sewe before a huge gathering at the Kwale Stadium yesterday, governor Fatuma Achani expressed commitment to increase the Sh400 million per year bursary fund to cater for needy students.
Ms Achani also promised to unite communities after divisive campaigns and protect legacy projects initiated by the outgoing governor and her mentor Salim Mvurya. Ms Achani, who was accompanied by her husband Ali Kanga, said she would ensure continuity of the programme she initiated with Mr Mvurya for last 10 years when she served as his deputy.
"My role will be to build on the foundation he laid. I am going to increase the funding for the Elimu Ni Sasa bursary programme to cater for the increasing number of needy children to ensure they access to education," she said.
Mwadime assured the county workers that they will not be victimized. "I will ensure county staff are paid their salaries promptly and there will be no further delays as it was being witnessed now," he stated.
In Kilifi County, Gideon Maitha Mung'aro was sworn into office as the second governor, effectively taking over from Amason Jefwa Kingi who completed his two terms in office. Mung'aro took the oath of office at Karisa Maitha Ground in Kilifi town and promised to work with his opponents in order to steer the county forward. He also lauded his competitors, Aisha Jumwa (UDA) and George Kithi (PAA) for challenging each other on issue-based politics.
"I want to acknowledge my competitors, especially my friends Aisha Jumwa and George Kithi for engaging on issue based campaigns. Let's work together for the betterment of our people because we are all sons and daughter's of this great county," he stated.
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From Lamu County, governor Issa Timamy vowed to improve public service delivery in all sectors. Speaking at Mkunguni square in Lamu Fort, Timamy - who is making a comeback after losing his seat in the 2017 elections - hailed his comeback as a vote of confidence from the Lamu electorate.
"My administration will seek to improve the quality of life for all residents regardless of whether they voted for me or not. It will no longer be business as usual, especially in sectors such as agriculture and tourism that have been on the downward spiral," he said.
Chief on his agenda would be revival of the Lamu Cultural Festival later in November this year. He also pledged to make changes within the health sector by addressing the poor state of service delivery at the county's main referral hospital within three months.
In Tana River, governor Dhadho Godhana who was re-elected for the second and last term pledged to fight corruption and misuse of public funds by county staff. Speaking at Hola Stadium where he took oath of office together with his deputy, Mahad Ali Loka, Godhana said he will not tolerate any cases of theft of public funds and incompetence any more. Godhana promised to personally supervise the running of county affairs, including the tendering process.
"This time round you're not lucky. I will ensure you deliver services as required and eliminate corruption and incompetence" he said.
[Patrick Beja, Marion Kithi, Renson Mnyamwezi, Hassan Barisa]