Governor Mutua tops in governors poll

Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua at a past event. He has been named the best performing governor in a new survey. [File, Standard]

Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua has been ranked the best performing governor in a new survey released yesterday. The survey dubbed The study on the Effectiveness of Devolution in Kenya: 2013-2019 by London-based advisory firm All Africa Advisors (AAA), put Dr Mutua ahead of his colleagues with 460 points.At position two with 440 points is Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya, followed by Nairobi’s Mike Sonko with 406 points.At number four is Kivutha Kibwana of Makueni with 374 points. Mombasa’s Ali Hassan Joho comes at position five with 345 points and Tharaka Nithi’s Muthomi Njuki completes the best six performing governors with 133 points.

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AAA a firm, that specialises in commercial and development projects in Africa, ranked Ferdinand Waititu of Kiambu as the worst performer with negative 615 points.Cyprian Awiti (Homa Bay), Sospeter Ojaamong (Busia), Fahim Twaha (Lamu), Amason Kingi (Kilifi) and John Nyagarama (Nyamira) form the other lot of the six worst performing governors.Mr Awiti scored (180 points), Mr Ojaamong (136 points), Mr Twaha (91 points), Mr Kingi (91) and Mr Nyagarama (85 points).

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Steven Kanyatte, AAA’s head of survey, said his company devised a three-pronged strategy to make the research as comprehensive as possible.“The plan was to first have a self-assessment study for each county government, the second was to carry out an opinion poll in all the 47 counties and the third was to conduct a county development verification exercise,” Mr Kanyatte said.He noted that the approach provided a robust evaluation of the research process.Kanyatte said his firm was determined to avoid a populist approach that would make the survey lack depth of coverage of all counties.He said the counties were required to provide evidence to support their scores on the questionnaire.“The poll and verification exercises were done from June to August this year in all the 47  counties. They were conducted in towns and villages, especially on market days,” said Kanyatte.“Ten people were interviewed in every town or village. We had a sample of about 1,410 respondents.”According to Kanyatte, performance indicators such as good governance, infrastructure, safe water provision, health, housing, food security, investment and manufacturing, social and emergency services were scrutinised.Others analysed were urban development, poverty eradication, youth and women empowerment and investment opportunities in each of the surveyed counties.Kanyatte said an analysis of all the data collected enabled the researchers to scientifically and accurately rank the governors.He  noted that more importantly, the survey was able to document the challenges that each county is experiencing.

Useful findings

“The findings will no doubt be useful for the counties, the national government, academic institutions, research bodies, non-state agencies, development partners and investors,” Kanyette said.He added that AAA will conduct another survey in 2023, to take stock of improvements made by county governments over the next four years.“The lessons learnt and the gaps identified in the current survey will inform development alternatives for the next four years,” said Kanyatte.“We hope to have contributed modestly to understanding the impact of devolution in Kenya.”Mr Njuki said he was happy with the ranking and promised to do more to achieve his county’s development goals.“This is encouraging and a vote of confidence in my leadership approach. I usually talk to people and ask them what they want implemented. I have done so much in community health care and infrastructure,” Njuki said.Mandera Governor Ali Roba, who scored zero points, was quick to dismiss the poll.Through his spokesman David Ohito, Mr Roba said the findings don’t reflect the truth on the ground.“Let the pollsters tell us when they were in Mandera and who they interviewed. They are biased. Roba has done so much. Water supply only has moved from 39 per cent to 69 per cent. These findings are not accurate,” Mr Ohito said.In the performance index, Governor Okoth Obado (Migori) was ranked seventh with 62 points followed by James Ongwae (Kisii) and Joseph Lenku (Kajiado) with 49. Paul Chepkwony of Kericho followed at position 10 with 44 points, Salim Mvurya (Kwale) with 41, Charity Ngilu (Kitui) with 33 and Granton Samboja (Taita Taveta) with 30.Uasin Gishu’s Jackson Mandago polled 22 points, followed by Josphat Nanok (Turkana) with 20, Mutahi Kahiga of Nyeri with 15, Lee Kinyanjui (Nakuru) with nine points, Mohamed Mahamud (Wajir) with three and Ali Roba (Mandera) with zero.All the remaining governors scored between negative six and negative 67.

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Machakos Governor Alfred MutuaWycliffe OparanyaSonko

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