The national government has released Sh7.7 million from its contingency fund to cushion Kitui residents from the effects of a severe drought that has hit the arid county, County Commissioner Boaz Cherutich said today.
He said the money will be used to fund vaccination of emaciated livestock and also provide water to areas hit hardest by water shortage resulting from the prolonged dry spell.
“Bowsers will be made available to distribute clean water for both domestic use and watering animals to prevent starvation,” he told a gathering at Central Primary School, Kitui Town, during an event to mark Mashujaa Day.
Mr Cherutich said relief food was being distributed to people inhabiting the worst-hit parts of the county.
Some 26,000 residents are facing severe hunger following a prolonged drought.
In addition, Mr Cherutich cautioned officers from the Kitui lands department and traffic police against alleged involvement in acts of corruption.
He said reports made to his office by the public indicated that corruption was rampant within the two government agencies.
“People have complained of officers who demand bribes from them whenever they seek services from the lands offices while drivers have accused traffic police officers of turning checkpoints into ‘toll stations’.
“I have therefore directed criminal investigation officers to move with speed and investigate the said cases of corruption to ensure the culprits are caught and prosecuted,” he pointed out.
He said locals were not getting services from the public offices as expected due to graft.
“The reports made also suggest that services have been denied to individuals who refuse to comply with demands made by the corrupt officials,” said Cherutich.
He urged people to desist from offering bribes to public servants in exchange of services they are constitutionally entitled to, and advised them to report the culprits instead.
The county commissioner also cautioned local politicians against uttering remarks likely to incite the residents or stir hostility among their supporters as doing so would attract serious legal consequences.
"We have deploy undercover detectives armed with recording gadgets to keenly monitor activities of politicians besides documenting evidence against hate speech mongers and those who incite others," he said.
Also present at the event were Deputy Governor Penina Malonza, members of county security committee, county ministers, and senior county security officers including County AP Commander Benson Wasike and Kitui Central police boss Kennedy Osando.
Ms Malonza, who read her boss’s speech to the gathering, said Governor Malombe was out of the country on official duty.
Senator David Musila and all members of the county assembly skipped the celebrations.