Bill Drayton once said that the one single factor that determines a society’s success is the percentage of change-makers within it.
When he became Governor of Machakos in 2013, Dr. Alfred Mutua inherited a region which despite its proximity to Kenya’s capital Nairobi Machakos was a simple sleepy region which was best known for hunger, food relief and a perennial lack of water. Mutua launched his political career with lofty, crazy and impossible seeming ideas, which through the challenges and opposition to them, have by and large become a reality today, seven years later.
Besides fulfilling the promises he had on his manifesto, Dr. Mutua went further to challenge Machakos county residents to explore their full potential in business, agriculture, transport and even tourism sectors. The residents heeded his clarion call and in less than a decade, the positive change the county is quite noticeable.
From a handful of supermarkets, petrol stations, banks, hotels etc, each Sub-County has seen tremendous growth in business and today, with most town centres being a bee-hive of activity throughout the day. Traffic jams are no longer a rare sight thanks to the increase in vehicles from a growing local economy. With a 24 hour business environment, and thanks also to basic facilities such as lighting in market places, improved road network and support by the county officials, movement of goods, people and cash has been made a lot easier.
The county government has been paving road walks, shopping centre parkings and building public institutions to a high standard and maintaing them. This is seen in their various institutions such as the upgraded Machakos Level 5 Hospital, Kenyatta stadium and the Machakos People’s Park. Various private institutions have subsequently embraced this new spirit of doing things, with churches and schools for example, also paving their parking lots and building beautiful concrete structures and walls. Thanks to the Governor’s expectations, the public is slowly but surely getting used to a culture of finese.
The greatest duty of a leader, besides leading, is to influence the thinking of the people they are leading. Dr. Mutua’s philosophy of inawezekana na itawezekana has worked miracles in Machakos. As a leader he has propelled Machakos residents from the dungeons of poverty to the path of success. He has created enough change makers through his constant messages of encouragement and support to the people he is leading, and Machakos is bound for greater things. With two more years in office, we can only expect greater things and growth for the county. Having declared his interest for presidency in 2022, all we can wish him is nothing but the best on his journey to State House.