In the first three months after the General Elections Governors Evans Kidero – Nairobi, Ali Hassan Joho – Mombasa, and Alfred Mutua – Machakos were in the lips of many Kenyans as the most performing Governors. Ever since Evans Kidero has dwindled into oblivion and in his place has come Cyprian Awiti – Homa-Bay. So today we could say that the top three Governors are Mutua, Joho, and Awiti in that order. Kidero is still making news here and there though.
But what caught my eye today was the way Governor Joho is making use of Social Media, Facebook to be specific, to interact with his electorates. Whether the Governor has delegated his page admin’s duties to someone else or he is the one who administers the page, the interaction I saw was awesome. I was attracted to read the comments that followed this update on Hon. Joho’s Facebook Page specifically because it is related to the 30% tender to the youth, women, and persons with disability:
“ATTENTION: Registration forms for youth groups, Small Macro Enterprises ( Women groups) and Persons with Disabilities in Mombasa County are available in the office of the County Head of Supply Chain Management.Please collect and fill them accordingly to enable registration.This is in line with the presidential Directive that 30% of all contracts and tenders be awarded to Youth, Women and Persons With Disabilities.NOTE that registration is free,DEADLINE: 31st December.”
Reading through the comments, I realized that the Governor was responding to most of the questions and concerns people were raising at the comments sections. Here are a few of the comments and the Governor’s responses on them:
Evelyn Moturi: Good work mheshimiwa, but the problem some of us have is that we are not in groups but individuals who have business ideas but no capital..how best can u assist us. Regards.
Hon. Ali Hassan Joho Evelyn Moturi: go to the Youth Enterprise Fund office in your subcounty for more info on the same.
Ronald Ngala Hon..Youths enterprise funds office is the genesis of all delayed services..my good Governor i want you 1 day to pay unexpected visit to that office & be 1 of the eye witness…then i also had time to look @ jobs opportunity you recently advertised,wea can a youth get 7yrs of experience?
Hon. Ali Hassan Joho Ronald Ngala,there are youth with 7years experience.Nevertheless,opportunities for others who do not qualify will still present themselves in the future,so be patient
Mkeleketwa Mbunifu Again to you Hon. Ali Hassan Joho, and first let me congratulate you for instant answers to our queries. Am proud of you Governor.
Now am at MIKINDANI and I’ve started a Quail farming business, currently I have 50 quails but am worried I don’t know where kws offices are located to get a permit. Or is there a way I can get the same from the said offices?
Secondly ,what strategies has your government set to assist youth entrepreneurship especially in wavering or lowering charges in getting some of essential papers to operate businesses?
Hon. Ali Hassan Joho Mkeleketwa Mbunifu,the KWS office is situated just before Uhuru na Kazi Building.For enquiries about the youth,please visit the Mombasa County youth office on Betting and control building 6th floor,Uhuru na Kazi.Thank you.
The use of Social Media has been adopted but many a politician but only to update their Facebook and Twitter followers of what meetings they have had or policies they intend to formulate. They also don’t forget to congratulate winners and send condolences messages to the bereaved families after disasters like the Westgate attack. But although some go a step further to inform their constituents of available opportunities or address the issues relevant to the counties or constituencies, we haven’t had politicians who take their time to read through comments and better still respond to some of the concerns raised at the comments or even posts on their walls or Timelines.
A key pillar of Social Media is to create conversation with followers, not just providing Press Statements. I would encourage the other politicians, including the Presidency, to follow Governor Joho’s lead and create conversation with the citizens. Many a times the citizens are satisfied not with the things that are done but by leaders who show concern on the complains they are raising. Addressing individual complainants give them a sense of dignity and humanity, even though in reality they could be living in hell.
Kudos Governor Joho. You are set to be the top performing Governor if you can go a step further and making an ambitious announcement akin to Mutua’s MachaCity dream.