In this interview, Michael Olinga spoke to embattled Uasin Gishu Senator, Jackson Mandago. They explore his legacy and investment options for residents of his county.
Tell us about that beaded rungu you carry. Does it have special powers?
The rungu does not have special powers. It is a symbol of leadership. I feel honoured to walk with the rungu everywhere because Kalenjin community elders gave it to me when I became Governor of Uasin Gishu as an endorsement of my leadership. It is also good for a leader in the Kalenjin community not to walk empty-handed while guiding his people toward a particular course. This club is for this purpose.
What five achievements so far do you consider the highlight of your tenure as governor?
a) Opening up and building numerous roads in agriculture-rich zones.
b) Upgrading of hospitals and equipping the facilities to improve access and care provision.
c) Agriculture, mainly livestock production and breed improvement, as well as horticulture.
d) Integration of Information Communication Technology (ICT) in most county departments, for efficient service provision and eradication of corruption
e) Early Childhood Development Education (ECDE) improvement and technical training for youth through partnerships with tertiary institutions and availing investment opportunities.
Which investors would you encourage to put cash in Uasin Gishu County and why?
Real estate is a big deal investment opportunity as Eldoret is developing into a modern city with a bulging population of middle-income people who want to own nice homes here. Hoteliers should also take advantage of the tourism attraction sites in the North Rift, Eldoret International Airport, and athletics to establish modern hotels here because the client base is surpassing service providers in this industry.
Is there intolerance towards ‘outsiders? Some leaders reportedly demonstrated against the leadership of a university because the Vice Chancellor was not a member of the local community.
Eldoret and Uasin Gishu County are fundamentally cosmopolitan. It is not right to generalize matters that there is intolerance. That was an isolated incident. We suffered greatly from the post-election violence and if there are a people who know the importance of peaceful coexistence with every Kenyan, it is us. The University of Eldoret issue may not have been handled procedurally and the matter was then politicised. Every public servant should be able to serve Kenyans anywhere in the country because we are all citizens of this great nation and need to build it. However, integrity should be key for all public servants in every capacity.