Machogu urges Gusii leaders to unite, champion development

Education CS Ezekiel Machogu assured Nyamira County residents of the government's commitment to put up a university in the area. [Peter Ochieng, Standard]

Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu has called for collective responsibility among Gusii leaders in a bid to spur economic, social and political growth in the region.

Speaking when he met chairpersons and members of state corporations from Gusii region at the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development, Nairobi, on Tuesday, Machogu said the community was headed in the right direction in connecting the people with opportunities and development.

"Ours is to complement the good work our political leadership is doing by tapping into opportunities available in various sectors of government, the great men and women from this region have been privileged to serve in President William Ruto's government," said the CS.

He said political and party affiliations should never split the community.

"We are barely one year in government and our plea to our people and leaders is to give priority to what is good for the community. Let's unite and focus on the plans we are set to achieve," he said.

The CS assured Nyamira county residents of the government's commitment to put up a university in the area.

"The President gave us a go-ahead, I requested leaders from the region to identify an ideal place. I am waiting for their report," he said.

Chairman of Geothermal Development Company (GDC), Walter Nyambati said the state appointees are better placed to explain the Kenya Kwanza Bottom Up Economic model.

"The President has given us an opportunity to help him in delivering his manifesto. Kenyans and our people from Kisii are looking at us to give them direction on how the government intends to deliver on the multi-billion development projects in Kisii and Nyamira," he said.

Nyambati revealed that they had presented a list of development projects to the President.

"We have agreed to lobby for the projects as a group. We will work with our elected leaders to ensure that we have timely budgetary allocation," he said.

Universal Service Advisory Council Chairperson James Ongwae said development cannot be achieved when there are squabbles among leaders.

"Gusii community is blessed with arable land and reliable rainfall. All we need is proper planning to help spur growth by initiating programs that have economic advantages. Kisii is among the first growing towns in Kenya and there is a need to look at the affordable housing scheme as a means to ending land conflicts.," said Ongwae.

KenGen PLC Chairman Migos Ogamba thanked the President and the CS for the appointment.

"We have started the journey to work as a team and participate in all economic activities in Kisii and Nyamira even as we execute our mandate in our various national duties. Gusii region is one and in most cases, we share resources and several development projects," he said.

He promised that they would hold consultative meetings with elected leaders to harmonize development projects.

"Working within the government means that we all support the President. We will work with all our leaders, those elected, nominated and appointed in both economic development and political direction, setting the agenda for our people in the future," he said.

Water Resource Authority Board Member Jared Mekenye Ongwae pointed out that there were a number of opportunities in the government and what is required is proper planning and responsible leadership.

"We have been given an opportunity to serve, our people have hope in us. There is no single leader who will achieve greatness by working in isolation," he said.

Dairy Board of Kenya member Josephine Omanwa called on Gusii leaders to shun clan and party politics for the benefit of the community.

"The President has taken the lead in preaching against tribalism, let us also shun the clan tag and help our people. For years we have been laying plans, it is time to actualise what is in paper. We need industries and revive the once vibrant dairy, tea and other farming practices," he said.

Purity Kirera who serves as Board member at the Bomas of Kenya said other tribes across the country had set a precedent on how unity among leaders can work for the development of communities.

"We have all agreed that despite our political differences, we need to work as a team and tap on the opportunities within Government," Kirera said.