MP sets up mobile tent to meet and serve locals

Samburu East Mp Jackson Lekumontare opening Mbunge mashinani mobile tent at Archers Post on July 15, 2023. [Michael Saitoti, Standard]

At a remote constituency in Samburu County, a group of constituents have gathered around a yellow and green tent in the Wamba West Ward.

One could think the meeting was a wedding gathering because the tent was decorated with colourful balloons, garlands, tinsel and ornaments.

But this is 'Mbunge Mashinani' initiative by Samburu East MP Jackson Lekumantare, who came up with the idea after a section of his constituents complained that they were not able to access National Government-Constituency Development Fund (NG-CDF) services.

Those most affected were residents of Archers Post in Wamba West Ward, who lamented it was costly for them to get to the CDF office in Wamba East Ward, threats by bandits and the rough terrain.

“My constituents, especially those living in Archers Post, the furthest part of the constituency, have been complaining about how they can access their MP. I decided to start 'Mbunge Mashinani' tent,” Mr Lekumantare told The Standard during the launch of the initiative last Saturday.

He admitted it was a challenge for his constituents to access NG-CDF services because of the terrain, and the distance. “This is a large constituency that I represent, the terrain is rough, and the infrastructure is poor. I have decided to start 'Mbunge Mashinani' to reach everyone.”

“I do not want a situation where people travel far to access their leader and government services that come through my office,” he said, adding that the tent will traverse the four administrative wards every month.

According to Lekumantare, the tent will be mobile to ensure delivery of services to the people in the region at four wards; Waso East Ward, Waso West Ward, Wamba West Ward and Wamba East Ward.

He also opened another office at Waso to deliver services to the residents at Archers. The constituency’s NG-CDF Chairman Matthew Lenaigwanani admitted that it has been difficult for residents in the far-flang areas to access services. “Travelling from Wamba to the CDF office is too expensive for the people,” he said.

Morisika Ekale, a youth leader, said the initiative would minimise the cost of travelling to access NG-CDF services.