Three North Eastern governors hit the road running after taking office

Nathif Jama

Garissa Governor Nathif Jamah while launching Health Product and Technologies Unit.

Photo credit: EDWIN KIPSANG I Nation Media Group

Governors in the three North Eastern counties have started work on a high note, just a week after they were sworn in.

Mr Nathif Jama (Garissa), Mr Ahmed Abdullahi (Wajir) and Mr Mohamed Khalif (Mandera) have hit the road running, promising better services for locals.

Mr Jama and Mr Abdullahi reclaimed the seats they lost in 2017, while Mr Khalif succeeded Mr Ali Roba as the second governor of Mandera County.

Since taking the oath of office on August 25, each of the governors sought to prove to residents that they were ready to deliver on their respective political pledges.

In Garissa, Mr Jama started implementing his pledges before even being sworn in.

Mr Jama met Kenya Power Managing Director Geoffrey Muli and brokered a deal to have electricity restored at the Garissa Water and Sewerage Company (Gawasco) over unpaid bills.

Move forward

"We have absolutely no time to rest. Our people were crying for change. They had completely lost hope as nothing was working. That is what we are trying to correct as we move forward," Mr Jama said after meeting Mr Muli. 

Governor Jama also met with Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (Kemsa) managers and convinced them to support his health agenda through its three-pronged transformation strategy.

Most hospitals in Garissa County were hit by acute shortages of medical supplies, a scarcity of ambulances and lack of oxygen, leading to an increase in infant and maternal mortality rates.

Ahmed Abdullahi

Wajir Governor Ahmed Abdullahi (in cap) during his inauguration ceremony at Wajir stadium on August 25, 2022.

Photo credit: EDWIN KIPSANG I Nation Media Group

Just a day after taking the oath of office, Mr Jama opened a health products and technologies unit at Garissa Referral Hospital for accountability and effective supply and use of hospital drugs.

With the unit in operation, pharmaceutical drugs supplied to the health facilities will all be computerised and records dispensed daily as the counters can easily be monitored.

On the same day, Mr Jama met casual workers at the hospital and promised to have their outstanding six-month dues paid.

Use wells

On Tuesday, Mr Jama led talks with residents of Bulla Iftin and ADC to have Gawasco use wells in the two areas to supply water in Garissa town.

Gawasco had been denied access to the wells by local landowners after the previous administration reneged on an agreement to compensate them for access to their land while operating the wells.

In Mandera County, Governor Khalif, after being sworn in, met elected members of the county assembly (MCAs) affiliated to the United Democratic Movement (UDM) party.

Adan Khalif

Mr Mohamed Adan Khalif displays his inauguration certificate after being sworn in as the Mandera County Governor on August 25, 2022.

Photo credit: MANASE OTSIALO I Nation Media Group

Mr Khalif urged them to spread the gospel of peace and unity after the divisive politics of the campaign period.

A source who attended the meeting intimated to the Nation that the election of the assembly Speaker was also discussed and that the recent move by UDM to join the Kenya Kwanza coalition had caused confusion.

Mr Khalif also met county government senior staff, including executive committee members, chief officers and directors from different departments.

All the senior staff delivered current situation reports from their departments to the new governor.

On Tuesday, Mr Khalif attended a UDM meeting held at the party headquarters in Nairobi.

The meeting, according to sources at the party headquarters, was called to discuss pertinent issues and party popularisation programmes.

 Kenya Kwanza

Unconfirmed reports indicated that in the signed post-election memorandum of understanding with Kenya Kwanza, UDM was asked to give the Mandera assembly Speaker post to Mr Hassan Robow, who lost in the Kamukunji (Nairobi) parliamentary race.

Mr Robow was elected Eastleigh North councillor in 2007 and at the advent of devolution, he shifted to Mandera and was elected Neboi (Mandera East) MCA in 2013.

In 2017, he shifted to Lagsure in Mandera West and was elected but in this year’s election, he returned to Nairobi with his eyes fixed on the Kamukunji seat on a UDA ticket.

UDM is balancing between honouring another clan MOU in which Mr Aftim Mohamed Farah was promised the Speaker’s position after he agreed to step down for Mr Omar Maalim in the Mandera East parliamentary race.

Mr Maalim lost to Mr Hussein Weytan of ODM and the UDM brigade is pushing to have him at the East African Legislative Assembly under the MOU with UDA.

In Wajir County, immediately after being sworn in, Governor Abdullahi and his deputy Ahmed Muhumed held their first meeting with the County Public Service Board on workforce issues, with a focus on the health department and the aim of restoring non-functional health facilities

The governor later hosted Mr Ben Fisher and Mr James Moffet of the British High Commission. The two had attended his inauguration at the Wajir Stadium.

On August 27, Governor Abdullahi received officials from Safe Surgical Aid, a local Health NGO, led by its officials Dr Abdihamid Noor and Alibash Mohamed.

The NGO has been conducting free medical camps in Wajir for a year now and Mr Abdullahi sought continued support and partnership.

On Monday, the governor flagged off ambulances that will support the county referral system and attend to medical emergencies.

The ambulances were procured through a grant from the World Bank under the Kenya Devolution Support Programme (KDSP).