3T survey reveals Thika’s greatest concerns and evaluates their leaders’ performance

Majority of Thika residents have placed infrastructure development as their main concern as residents.

An online survey conducted by Thika Town Today- 3T between 2nd August and 15th August 2020, identified infrastructure as their main concern with 32.7% terming it as their greatest headache.

In the same survey, 19.7% of the respondent felt concerned with their security, with lack of jobs ranking 3rd at 15.4%.

Food and Water (10.2%), Corruption (8.3%), Street Families (5.5%) and Health (4.3%) were among the other concerns raised.

On government services, 59.1% of respondents believe the County Government of Kiambu is to blame for the poor service delivery, while 14.7% placed the blame squarely on the National Government Administration Officers  (NGAOs). 12.3% of respondents indicated that the Members of County Assembly (MCAs) are failing in service delivery, 

Only 4% of the respondents felt that the office of the Member of Parliament had ceded his role in service delivery. Interestingly, 4.8% of respondents blamed the community for not playing their civic duty in facilitating service delivery.

25.7% of the respondents were satisfied on how businesses in the area were progressing, with 22% feeling that the Education sector was on the right track. 17.1% were happy with the infrastructural developments in the area, 11.8% happy with the Health services and 11.4% satisfied with the security situation in the area.

Area MP Eng. Patrick Wainaina was considered the best performer amongst all elected leaders in the area with a whopping 84.5% endorsing his efforts.

Kiambu Gov. Dr. James Nyoro came a distant second with 5.7% of the respondents endorsing his efforts. Senator Kimani Wamatangi was third with 4.5% as Hospital Ward MCA Danson Mburu came fourth with 2.4%.

The others were ranked as follows; Andrew Kimani (MCA Township) – 1.2%, Raphael Chege (Kamenu MCA) – 0.8%, Gathoni Wamuchomba (Kiambu Women Rep.) – 0.8%.

None of the respondents endorsed Gatuanyaga MCA Joseph Kahira or Ngoliba MCA Joachim Mwangi.

When asked how best they would want their challenges solved, majority of those who responded demanded for accountability and transparency in the manner those in office executed their mandate. They felt that public offices were run in too much secrecy, denying them opportunities to participate in their own governance.

Though the respondents acknowledged some level of public participation in some of the offices, there were concerns that majority of the office bearers concealed vital information that would assist the public in making sound judgments on how they would want to be governed. They also demanded to be more involved in decisions that affected their lives.

A section of the residents felt the need for an elaborate masterplan to overhaul policies on town planning to factor in population surge, technology and urban farming among other emerging factors in the growth of the town.

Some of the areas the residents felt needed more emphasis included how to tackle the never-ending traffic jams into the town, the problem of parking, hawkers and public transport players within the CBD.

Both levels of government were tasked to come up with a lasting solution to the issue of street vendors as well street children who have now become a menace and a security threat to wananchi within the CBD.

The county government was also challenged to reign on rogue officers who terrorized businesspersons and property developers, seeking for bribes. This, they said, was killing businesses and encouraging impunity among some unscrupulous traders who bribed their way in order to do all what they wanted at the expense of the law abiding traders.

There were also concerns over the lack of security lights, improper drainage, impassible roads in some of the residential areas, inadequate water supply, low sewerage connection.

Some residents were against the politicizing of every project being embarked by leaders with some calling for a shift from the political overtones at the expense of development. They asked all leaders to unite and serve their electorate first without letting their political differences to jeopardise service to mwananchi.

The youth complained of being sidelined from job opportunities as well as awarding of tenders with such opportunities going to the well-connected and those able to bribe their way in. They called on the leaders to come up with programmes that created more opportunities especially for the youth to nurture talents and innovations.

Both the national and county governments were also asked to collaborate more with the business community in order to come up with home-based solutions to some of the challenges that faced Thika residents. There was a feeling more involvement of the numerous multi-billion industries within Thika, a lot could be achieved in terms of infrastructural development, job creation and environmental conservation.

Uncontrolled development, illegal liquor joints, drug abuse and some corrupt police officers were some of the reasons attributed to the level of insecurity in some estates. The residents also felt that the county government planning department contributed to insecurity by allowing commercial developments within residential areas. They also called for more street lighting within estates to curb cases of crime.

The residents also called for more police patrols that served their purpose rather than technical patrols that were only used by police officers to harass innocent wananchi, leaving thugs to prey on law-abiding citizens. Some police officers were accused of working with criminals and lawbreakers thus exposing other residents to thuggery and muggings. They were accused of using patrols as a means to collect bribes from criminals and those operating illegal liquor joints as well as those selling drugs.

MCAs and the Senator were also called to task over their oversight role in the management of county government finances and programmes. The residents heaped most of the mess in the county government performance on these leaders whom they said were “missing in action”. They accused them of playing populist politics that helped no one other than themselves and their close associates.

They also called on them to advocate for more resources to Thika considering the town’s contribution to Kiambu County Revenue and the high population.

The public was also blamed for not electing development-minded leaders. This they said was one of the main contributors for poor leadership and management of public affairs.

 

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