SPEECH BY THE GOVERNOR OF THE COUNTY GOVERNMENT OF KIAMBU ON THE OCCASSION OF CELEBRATING MASHUJAA DAY


 Distinguished Guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
All Protocols Observed.
 

For the third time since the County came into existence, we gather here today to celebrate those we consider Heroes – not just historically, but in today’s context as well. You may wonder why we bother to gather year after year – to commemorate the brave. Some might say it is a mindless custom and an opportunity for us to get some extra sleep. But it is more than that.
While we have a dedicated day to remember our Heroes, we should not fail to recongise them daily. We should never tire of paying tribute and giving thanks to those who supported and sacrificed their well-being for the freedom of our Country. For they are a reminder to us today, that each one of us has an opportunity to be recongised for being heroic.
We recognize that a Hero is a person who is admired and acknowledged for their courage, outstanding achievements, and noble qualities. A National Hero is someone who, beyond that, has made significant positive contributions to the growth and development of society, and represents all of us. To know our heroes is to know ourselves - our values, our collective history, who we are, and what makes us - as Kenyans - great. Acknowledging our heroes is an acknowledgement of who we are – of our history, heritage, and culture.
So what makes these people special? And what are the qualities that each one of us needs to espouse to be a Hero in our society today? What comes to mind are values such as dedication, commitment, self-sacrifice and demonstration of consistency and passion. Our Heroes are ideally agents of change for the betterment of a bigger group of people. They are risk-takers who demonstrate ethical behavior and leadership qualities that inspire their fellow Kenyans. And the question today is – Are you one of these people? Or will you be forgotten once you are laid in the ground at the end of your days?
The calling to be great in our day to day lives means that we have to get out of our comfort zones. It means we need to go above and beyond what is expected of us. It requires us to think for the collective good. Whether or not a memorial stands in your honour; whether your names are written in the pages of history—it is my hope that each of us can indeed be a national hero who works towards the peace and progress we enjoy.
Several years ago, one of our musicians sang – Naishi, Natumaini, Najitolea Daima Kenya. Those words resonated with us in a time when the Country was struck with grief over a terrorist bombing that resulted in the loss of countless innocent lives. But these words should be our guiding mantra – as Kenyans everywhere. So, as we go about our daily activities, we need to ask ourselves whether we live, dream and work for this Beloved Country.
Ladies and Gentlemen: Whenever there is wrongdoing and injustice in society—if you simply choose to stand on the sidelines and watch, if you choose to follow the dictates of the status quo, or simply complain without putting forward a solution to the problem, is it not true that you have only added to the problem, and thus prolonged the suffering of your fellow men?
The truth is that it does not take much to be heroic. The resolute will in each of us to go beyond ourselves for our countrymen and our flag is all it takes. Whether we are ordinary citizens, or those in the highest echelons of power - each one has the responsibility and the ability to take part in working for the improvement of wider society—from the simple act of following our rules and laws; to reaching out and helping our fellowmen, especially those most in need; to the readiness to fight for what is right and what is just, whatever the time or situation. And engaging in activities that move our economy forward.
Ladies and Gentlemen: My County Government is dedicated doing what we can to improve the lives of our residents in meaningful and impactful ways. We may not be deemed heroic, but in our own small way, we are doing our bit to contribute to the economic development and upliftment of our own.
As we all know Kiambu County is one the top agricultural production counties in the Country. As we rapidly urbanise to accommodate the spill over from our neighboring county of Nairobi, the County Government’s Department of Agriculture has opted to address the diminishing land sizes by promoting the adoption of high tunnel green houses that require less space and have higher productivity. The recent construction of 80 green houses at a cost of Ksh32 million and distribution to 80 horticultural groups located in the twelve sub-counties has yielded great results. Some of these groups were harvesting their first crop and profiting in three months. It is my sincere hope that they in turn will be heroic, and not only shine as entrepreneurs, but as role models in our society as they train and share their new found knowledge and skills with those in their immediate community.
Since my government came into place three years ago, Agricultural production has been on the rise, and we are now officially the highest milk producer in the country, producing over 800,000 liters of milk per day. To complement the rise in milk production, my Government has purchased milk coolers and pasteurisers to be distributed to dairy farming groups and cooperatives in areas where dairy farming is concentrated. It is my hope that we will move from simple milk production to value added activities such as the manufacture of a variety of cheese, yogurt and other dairy products.
Last year I encouraged our youth, women and persons living with disabilities to apply for funding in groups from the Kiambu Biashara Fund. Today, we already have success stories from the more than 60 groups who are beneficiaries of the Fund. I celebrate when I hear about groups like the Jijenge Self-Help Group that received Ksh 100,000 and used part of the proceeds to buy a single Friesian cow that yields 18 liters of milk a day which is sold to local shops at Ksh. 50 per liter. These small victories remind us that the economic empowerment of our people will eventually change the complexion of rural areas and the livelihoods of communities in those areas - one step at a time.
Ladies and Gentlemen: While the future may be unpredictable, the past should give us hope. It is my hope that five or ten years from now, we will be remembered as a County populated by people who chose to do small things in great ways.
I wish to thank all of you for gracing this occasion in large numbers to show solidarity with our Heroes in the struggle for a greater Kiambu and a greater Kenya. It is the same resolve of these Mashujaa that should inform our vision of transforming Kiambu County into a Land of Plenty and Destination of Choice for all investors. Every one around us would like us to focus on the doom and gloom in Kenya. They want to remind us that we have a cash crunch. Too much debt. Very little rain and when it come, it comes in destructive torrents. Militants in our borders chasing away much needed foreign direct investment.
But let us here today choose not to speak of darker days, but rather - let us rather speak of sterner days. For these are not dark days. These are great days for which we must all thank God that we have been allowed, each of us according to our stations, to play a part in making our mark in the history or our County and our Country. It always looks so easy to solve problems by taking the line of least resistance, but today, I wish to urge each of us to choose to be heroic in your day-to-day activities and become agents of change in our society. We are companions in the struggle of making Kiambu a better County to live in and I believe that it is the cardinal duty for every resident of Kiambu County, to protect, develop and sustain the spirit of our National Heroes.
Finally, I take this opportunity to wish all our candidates sitting their KCPE and KSCE exams the best of luck in this important undertaking. I know that the effort they have put in the preparations shall bear fruit regardless of all the hurdles faced these last few weeks. I wish you Godspeed, and encourage you to do your absolute best.
Asanteni Sana. God Bless you and I wish you a Happy Mashujaa day.
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