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Tuesday, 2 April 2013

LRV reporter is the new County Representative


By Dennis Kipkirui
He is among the old correspondents of Laikipia Rural Voices (LRV) having joined the first Community Journalism class in Ng’arua Maarifa Centre. His main drive was to champion the many concerns that surrounded his immediate society and not getting attention. He involved himself in different community development projects in the area and made him a darling of many.

Dann Ndegwa Macharia 40 is the new Member of County Assembly representing Sipili/Ol Moran Ward. The ward formerly had three separate wards (Sipili, Kirima, and Ol Moran). Ndegwa popularly known as Wa Joe (father of Joe)won the seat in the just concluded elections with a landslide margin leaving his opponents with only one choice: to concede and accept to support him in running the ward. Wa Joe emerged victorious through The National Alliance (TNA) party which was a party of choice in the larger Laikipia County. Earlier he had trounced six others during nominations only to meet another six in the General elections and won again.

Poster of  Dann Ndegwa (Photo: Martin Ngare/ LRV)
The first time politician was confident from the instance he joined politics that he will beat his opponents after seating in different development committees in the location. This gave him a head start. He was in the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) committee when the current Laikipia County Senator GG Kariuki was Laikipia West MP. In his tenure, Wa Joe steered the inception and completion of Sipili Youth Polytechnic. He has also served as the local sports youth leader for the last fifteen years. When GG was deposed by former MP Nderitu Mureithi, he was retained as the secretary for the Location Development Committee. His springboard was when he assisted parents to acquire the hard coming birth certificates for their children three years ago. The vital document was a nightmare to get in the district. Wa Joe sacrificed his time and resources and delivered over three thousand birth certificates.

The father of three completed his secondary education in 1987 at Maseno School. He had earlier emerged the top student in CPE examinations in the then Laikipia District after his primary education in Ol Arabel. Coincidentally he was in the same classroom with Joshua Irungu the current Governor for Laikipia County in Maseno School. 

Wa Joe holds a Diploma in Finance Management and is optimistic that he will provide best services to the residents. After working for six years in the extinct Mount Textiles in Nanyuki, he ventured into business concentrating much in farming. He is the proprietor of Supreme Academy. This is the school he started to prepare for himself a landing place in case the political waters turned murky. 

What is his development plan? Wa Joe acknowledges that the seventeen thousand people in the ward deserve better delivery of services after long time marginalization. He plans to open a main office in Sipili town and a sub office in Ol Moran shopping centre. This is because he hopes to create a central point where people could easily access him. According to him, this was the main undoing for his predecessor. In line with his party manifesto, he jokingly admits that he would have created two job opportunities for the office clerks.

He has identified poverty as the main challenge in the area. That his ward contributes a lot to the 46% figure of poverty level in Laikipia County is his worry. He plans to cater for the youth by creating good opportunities for businesses and employment. To successfully tackle the challenges, he is rolling a plan of appointing sub-committees in every village to help him identify particular issues affecting the people. Other issues he has in his in-tray include insecurity, human-wildlife conflict, water, health and education.

He is also busy lobbying for the post of chief whip in the County Assembly. Among the fifteen members, his party has a comfortable lead of ten with four more from the larger Jubilee Alliance family and one from CORD.

The ‘county rep’ will still continue with his correspondence duty with Laikipia Rural Voices (LRV). He is happy that with his current responsibility, he can bring more stories since he will be covering large areas. He is grateful to the rural voice for putting ahead the needs of his people and tasking responsibility to the concerned authorities.



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