Crawn Trust

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Regional Leaders

KEY NOTE ADDRESS BY H.E. Prof. P. Chepkwony

“ I thank you all for participating in this powerful, meeting. I total support the idea of GGRT. I personally commit to listen and work with all stakeholders to make it work. First let me share a few facts with you”:

  • The Graden of Aden is right her in Kericho County, in Kipkelion at Fort Tenon where once upon a live lived Kenyapithecus,
  • The cooperative movement started over 100 years ago in Kericho town demonstrating the most organized table banking is in kericho
  • Here is where you find the most democratic community in Kenya, whereupon no ceremony can start without the participation of women, women must make up the quorum, be represented and their issues are taken seriously,
  • The true meaning of the name “Chepkwony” is a man who once was a women and reincarnated into a man
  • Kericho is like USA of Kenya. It is cosmopolitan, rich in diversity of its cultures and people resident in the county, It has the most high number of multinational companies,
  • It is the second home of the temple after India is in Kericho in Africa. It is home for Christians, Muslims, Hindus for over 100 years,
  • At independence Kenya Government was broke, Kericho supported the national government, and even lend money to Zanzibar,
  • On average Kericho County contributes 5Billion USD to the GDP of Kenya (1.3 Billion USD) and is bigger than Mombassa which has a port,
  • Insecurity in Kericho is at zero, no single shot has been fired by police officers since the 2003 general elections, harmony continues to prevail

A few weeks ago we were in a meeting and a few meters way a cow gave birth to twin calves, they were name in my name and that of my deputy respectively since they were male (1st) and female (2nd). Our purpose is to make a commitment to support the cause for women in society.

As a professor teaching, history dictates that no man has ascended to power without the support of women. The welfare of women is a priority for a country to progress.  The Governors commit to defend and comply with the Constitution. Some statistics will give a good pointer

  • Represntation in the county is at 50-50%
  • Chief Executives County (CECs) have 60% women and 40% men
  • All employees of the County public Service Board have 43% men and 57% female
  • For financial year 2014/2015 -39% of traders we finance are women , youth and people with disability got 535 million shillings, we have created 500 millionaire (gross)in the past one year
  • Next month 2,500 youth will be employed at the ICT centre working for Americam Companies in the Public Business Outsourcing (PBO) and 40% will be women and 60% men. This is the route taken by India, providing free Wifi slotted for the launch on 11/12 2015 (and all are invited)
  • We have given out 100 million in bursaries constituting 46% boys and 44% girls totalling to 20,405 students,
  • We have disbursed 100 million to 3000 business people 1% of whom are women, 36% men and 32 % both youth and PWDs
  • Key milestones in infrastructure development indicates that 1,300 kilometers of new roads have been constructed opening up the county (equivalent to distance from Kigali to Mombasa
  • 330 ECD classrooms have been constructed
  • On 24th December 2015, we will commission an ICU and HDU with 6 beds for emergencies
  • The national average of deliveries is at 56% of hospital deliveries, Kericho County has 79% and we aspire to reach 100% by 2017
  • We have a cervical cancer diagnosis and treatment at all District hospitals
  • HIV/AIDS, Kericho County Government is partnersing with National Government through the First Lady Margaret Kenyatta initiative “Beyond Zero Campaign” we have acquired Ambulances, One Machine and infection has gone down3.4%
  • The First Lady of Kericho is working with partners in free marternity and below five years immunization and vaccination campaigns
  • Kericho Prisons has lowest inmates and most criminals are from outside Kericho County

DEPUTY GOVERNOR-KERICHO COUNTY

“Kericho is honoured to host  and mark the first ever gender equality forum to launch Governors Gender Round Table (GGRT), Thank you all for turning up in large numbers”. We are willing and ready to collaborate with partners to enhance women’s empowerment both in leadership and economic spheres. Participation is key in governance and development agenda of our counties.

The Testimonies here today are a good indicator of good success stories and best practices. In Kericho, 10 members of the County executive Committee are women, 2 are CEC. In the County Assembly we have 17 out of 47. We have chairs and vice chairs of several committees. Governance processes at the county are competitive and requires women leaders of high integrity.

Kericho has some of leading entrepreneurs including supermarkets, Chepseon maendeleo stores, heads of county administration has women represented and 52 % of the County employees are women with 48% being men. In education, 98% of all ECD teachers are women.

There is urgent need to foster and create linkages between the County Governments and stakeholders in strengthening public participation. Counties should continue showcasing successful and best practices. Counties should continue sharing knowledge and strategies that effectively steer development. We need to encourage involvement of PWD, Youth and Women. It is important to invest in skills that help women entrepreneurship and identify sustainable income generating activities. She thanked everyone for their support.

COUNTY COMMISSIONER-KERICHO COUNTY

The County Commissioner, Mr. Abdul Muktar, who heads County Security Committee, coordinated by Mrs Rose for Regular, CID, KWS, Prisons and Administration police units.

The Administrator started by highlighting the fact that many of the concepts used in development should be simplifiedfor ease of understanding. There should be no confusion to say gender issues are women issues, they relate to both men and women in society. He noted that gender is about development and is about inclusion of men and women in development discourse.

The County Security committee meets at least twice a month with representatives from all the sub-counties.

 Some of the challenges we are facing include:

  • Prevalence of Gender Based Violence
  • Changing dynamics of security and changing scenarios including organized crimes, internal conflicts and international terrorism
  • The need for public sensitization among communities on embracing Nyumba Kumi
  • Understanding gender dynamics by all leaders for example child defilement and the need for dialogue to reduce stigma, find justice for the victims and how to prevent domestic violence
  • Role of leaders in GBV mitigation and security, the challenge of cross county border conflicts and smuggling of bhang and other small crimes
  • Perpetual vigilance by all citizens, it is not just the work of the police, but collaboration with the public is important in ensuring security for all,
  • Corruption in public offices e.g. colluding with illegal brewers
  • Lastly, he indicated to residents that the opening of Huduma centre in Kericho will increase service delivery and that soon the entire building housing the new Huduma centre will be connected to electricity.

HOST GOVERNOR: H.E. Prof. Paul Kiprono Chepkwony

He started by greeting the congregation in local vernacular twice as is the tradition of the community. He congratulated the organizers of the meeting and thanked all present for finding time to attending. He confirmed inviting other leaders among the First Lady , the Deputy President but due to her disposition she could not manage to come and therefore send her apologies. In order of seniority he invited all deputy governors present to address the congregation.

 

  1. E. Dorothy Nditi, Deputy Governor Embu and Secretary of the Deputy Governors of Kenya

In her message, and drawing analogy from the Bible, she gave the story of Mary Mother of Jesus and how Joseph doubted, with little believe and conviction. She summarised by saying that always women are faithful to a good cause. Women have something to bring to the table (decision making). She said that the crafters of the constitution were keen on ensuring that equity, inclusiveness and participation are key principles that will ensure Devolution delivers. Devolution is a good idea for Kenyans. It has transformed society. More development can be witnessed everywhere- it is working. We need to support devolution. In supporting devolution we shall overcome most challenges facing our communities today. We need to do what needs to be done and bring development to the people. Before, the debate on gender was about basic literacy. Today we are shifting toward economic empowerment for women.

  1. E. Dorothy Chepkurui, Deputy Governor, Narok

In her message, she thanked H.E the Governor for chairing and presiding over the launch of the GGRT. She noted it is a critical step in implementing gender and devolution principles. She affirmed that, the roles of all First deputy Governors should and must make a difference in business, trade, peace and representation. Reiterating President Obamas message to Kenyan leaders, she said it was important for all county governments to recognize the role, place and work of women and youth –their contribution adds value and meaning to life, they form the other half of the team. In her support of the initiative on GGRT, she affirmed that all the 47 County Governments are for the idea of GGRT. And therefore all are committed to this cause. She emphasised the need to debunk the myth that women are their own worst enemies, it’s a lie. She further encouraged women to join table banking to uplift their lives, women are now minting money and realising economic independence, more and more women are taking up entrepreneurship projects. However, she noted that still the participation of women, youth and people with disability needs to be firmed up by County Governments so that no one is left behind. For this initiative to be sustainable, for devolution to work, a continued process of partnership and collaboration with all stakeholders must be encouraged and practiced.

  1. E. Kitana Deputy Governor, Mombasa

She stirred the crowd to sensational applauding by her style and perfect Swahili. She contends that, all Counties that have Women and deputies have clearly demonstrated maturity in democracy and have developed faster and are more effective in service delivery than those without. All these counties have prudent management systems of their resources, because women are good planners, they care about society first. Women leaders are not interested in power games, they are interested in development agenda of their communities.

She noted that 2016, will mark another heightened environment characterised by political campaigns.  “Today you do not see the male politicians here, supporting this cause, yet women are their biggest voting bloc, this time round we are awaiting for them”

She introduced and acknowledged the leadership of Rose Ochingwa Muchuma, The County police Commander for Kericho, who has served through ranks for over 40 years. She is an outstanding leader in society.

She spoke of her County No. 001 Mombasa headed by H.E. Hassan Joho, and boasted that her county has three outstanding women deputies in Mombasa, Kwale and Taveta. She encouraged women to celebrate each other and collectively so in their achievements. She applauded her County as being the First in establishing and having representatives of PWDs, develop a charter. She affirmed that devolution has significantly improved  infrastructure and physical facilities across the country and these efforts must continue.

  1. E. Ruth Odinga , Deputy Governor, Kisumu and Chair of Deputy Governors of Kenya

As the chair of Kenya Network of Women Governors, she emphasised the need for Executive and County Assemblies to work together to ensure improved service delivery to the people. She said H.E. Chepkwony was an exemplary leader, who has demonstrated the true spirit of gender equality and equity in his administration, his development record is above others. He has a deputy governor for a women, this is walking the talk!

In her County of Kisumu, she introduced Faridah Ahmed Salim as one of the beneficiary of devolution and gender principles in the constitution. She noted the commendable work of mentorship by the likes of Jane Godia and Daisy Amdany who through the women’s movement have helped other women realise their dreams.

H.E. Ruth Odinga, reinforced the need for sound policy and enabling legal frameworks at the County level to be able to help our people.

She noted that development agenda cannot be politicised, it know no political party and that is why confidently she know H.E Chepkwony will be re-elected Governor of Kericho come 2017. She thanked the host Governor in his efforts and leadership for taking the first step to host has a huge forum. This steps will go a long way in implementing core principles of devolution and gender equity.

She isnsited that there are many best practices, and we need toreplicate them, share them, because its not about competition but creating learning platforms for information and knowledge transfer among communities. She said the nine (9) deputy governors are a role model for many aspiring women leaders and today’s meeting in Kericho is a better learning platform on practical lessons in leadership strengthening and entrepreneurship development. We have many products, but we need to ensure value addition to get the best price, here we have tissue cultured bananas, and tomatoes and more intresting is that the beneficiaries of our Kisumu International airport are business people from Kericho who export sweet potatoes. Therefore, we need to foster regional partnerships among counties to form economic blocs. Further, we need to provide seed money as subsidies to our famers and business people. She refered to the Kericho model of “One ward, One product” as the most viable development model that other counties should emulate. In our development, our actions should speak about results Based management by County Governments as an approach to better service delivery.

She encouraged more women to vie for Governorship come 2017 in some counties where the women are not deputies whilst the current deputies should be encouraged to stay and vie on later dates like 2022. There is need to debunk the propagandas around women leadership and allow more women to seek elective positions at all levels of government. We should continually replicate best practices form the counties and showcase our best. We must all endeavour to sustain peace in the country because women are the most affected in situations of conflict.

She affirmed her commitment and those deputies present that at the county level, implementing the constitution on gender, women empowerment will continue to support good and progressive ideas and interventions such as this on GGRT. In her vision, soon through devolution Kenya will be ripe for a female President.

Lastly, she emphasised the need for inter-agency collaboration and lauded the current arrangements between Civil society under NWSC, Council of Governors and development partners. This is the way to develop our communities.

She took the opportunity to invite H.E. Susan, Deputy Governor for Kericho to invite the key speaker.

The greatest security in a leader is having women have trust and faith in you. As we negotiate, as we dialogue, I will listen, I commit to my full support on GGRT, We in the County leadership will foster cross county collaboration on devolution and gender Equity. It has been a good experience hosting you, listening to the leaders and stakeholders. I invite you in the upcoming forums in the Kericho County namely, Youth Expo bringing together 6000 participants on 24th December 2015

I now declare, The Governors Gender Round Table Open and operational.

VOTE OF THANKS

Pastor Rose gave the vote of thanks

CLOSING PRAYERS

Pastor Kizito closed the meeting with a word of prayer.

LUNCH SERVED AND DEPARTURE