Governor says he will work with civil society to foster unity

The Makueni county government will collaborate with Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in the county to foster development in the area .

Governor Kivutha Kibwana while making the announcement said CSOs play a very critical role in promoting good governance and assured them of his government’s support and commitment in creating a conducive working environment for the civil society.

”With meaningful engagements, we can meet the needs of the people of Makueni and fuel an open government which I champion for to ensure accountability,” said the governor.

Speaking at Wote when he launched the Makueni Civil Society Network conference at Wote, Kivutha said CSOs will be incorporated in county development committees so that they can directly influence citizens and the county government towards real change and transformation.

He noted that the public participation approach adopted by the county in implementing the development agenda was the best way of ensuring sustainable and effective service delivery and no actors should be left behind.

”In this era of public participation, all actors should come together and forge a common way forward,” he said.

The governor challenged the civil society to fight for their space and demand for transparenr and accountable governance.

”An active civil society helps develop and monitor policies for sustainable development and inclusive growth,”he noted.

The workshop was attended by representatives of various CSOs and officials from the county governments with an intent to explore the issues affecting civil society in the county and identify the gaps with a view of charting ways to improved service delivery.

Gerald Walterfang, Director Strategy and Transformation WDS Africa decried the shrinking space of civil society especially with the advent of devolution but underscored the need for them to be vibrant.

”The civil society acts as the bridge between the government and the citizenry and they should therefore remain vibrant and push for open governance,” said Walterfang.

He lauded efforts by the county government on public participation model and urged the civil society to play an active role on promoting citizen participation in development.

”Makueni has been touted as one of the best cases of success stories of devolution but the role played by the civil society in the county is very minimal,” added the WDS director.

Poverty Eradication Network (PEN) Programme Officer Ms Mary Mutuku called for collaboration between different CSOs operating in the county to compliment the role played by the county government in promoting development.

She however, decried lack of funding and disunity as some of the main challenges facing CSOs in the county.

”Donor funding has gone low and CSOs do not speak in one voice hence adversely affecting their work,” said Ms. Mutuku.

Source: Kenya News Agency