Friday 8th September 2017

Ladies and Gentlemen, let me start by thanking you for accepting the invitation of the County Government of Kisumu to participate in the six task forces that we have set up. You are all very busy people and we do not take it for granted that you are willing and ready to offer your knowledge, skills and experiences to support the work of the County Government.

As you know, we have set up six teams to work on Human Resource Effectiveness; Environment and Infrastructure; Pending Bills; Revenue Collection; Establishment of Village Councils and Health Services Delivery.

Let me now address some important questions for the avoidance of doubt:

First, what is the County Government asking you to do?

It is extremely important that you have a very clear understanding of the goal you are to accomplish and the objectives you must achieve. That understanding must be shared between the County Government and yourselves. Otherwise, the whole exercise is a futility, ab initio.

In very practical terms, your goal is to assist the County Government to achieve the promises we made to our people in the campaign period. More specifically, we have invited you to work with us on the targets we set for ourselves in the first 100 days of our administration. In technical terms, the objectives of the task force committees are the following:

  1. To undertake projects for the immediate needs of County residents and initiate the implementation of the Governor’s manifesto;
  2. To address institutional decay and/or institutional collapse leading to structural reforms in their respective areas;
  3. To lay the ground for the work of the new County Executive Committee (CEC) and other organs of government, by setting priorities and work plans for the short-term and medium term;
  4. To facilitate a smooth transition in policy and practical terms, including taking stock of assets and liabilities in your respective task areas.

Ladies and gentlemen, let me clarify and emphasize – to you and residents of Kisumu County – that these are ACTION task force committees not deliberative committees or talk shops.

Secondly, where do we begin?

We have prepared a summary of the tasks for each task force. You will be required to develop a detailed technical Terms of Reference (ToRs) based on the tasks assigned to your respective teams. In addition, each team will formulate their methodology of work and budget. In other words, we know the problems we would like you to address and we expect you to tell us your own understanding of the same problems in technical terms, in the detailed ToRs that you will develop. Your methodology and work plans should clearly tell us how you intend to go about finding solutions to those problems. What activities will you undertake as you seek solutions and how much will they cost?

As you develop your work plans, please bear in mind two things:

(a)That there is no shortage of studies and blueprints in Kenya. The issue is implementation; and

(b) That the County Government is facing serious financial resource constraints at this particular time.

In other words, do not re-invent the wheel. Take us forward and let us not stop in the middle for lack of funds. We should be purposeful and realistic.

The good news is that the County Government will do everything possible to support your work and there are many partners, especially donor organizations willing to support the work you will be doing. Already, the German Technical Co-operation Agency (GIZ) has offered to pay for technical assistance to the two task force committees on human resource effectiveness and village councils.

Thirdly, what are the working and reporting modalities for the task forces?

We have set up a Coordination unit for the taskforces on the 9th floor of this building. Each taskforce has been assigned a room on that floor with at least two work stations in each room, where the Chairperson, Secretary and members can sit and work whenever they choose to come to our premises. Those rooms are spacious enough for members’ meetings, but we also have a Boardroom and a couple of meeting rooms available for the task force committees on the same floor. Of course the task force committees will not work full time. You will offer your assistance on a part-time basis and you will be free to establish sub-committees, working groups and invite expertise from outside as may be necessary.

For purposes of coordination, we have established a Coordination Committee, chaired by my representative with a coordinator as Secretary. All chairpersons of the various task forces sit in that coordination committee. This committee will also work with the task forces in mobilization of resources from outside government, where such possibilities exist.

With regard to reporting channels, the task force committees will report to the Governor, through the Chairperson and Coordinator/Secretary of the Coordination Committee.

We expect weekly reports, with RECOMMENDATIONS FOR ACTION, not stories!

Fourth, how much time do we have to do this?

The ceiling is ninety (90) days, but we urge you to finish in a shorter duration, perhaps a month or two for the main recommendations for immediate action. This is not for lack of funds. It is because of the sense of urgency and the expectations of our people.

At another meeting later this afternoon, the Deputy Governor, the Chairperson and Secretary of the Coordination Committee as well as the County Secretary will address other questions that you and your members may have.

I will close by reminding you of the Motto in our Manifesto: The Mission is Possible, Tich Tire.