Up to 800 trainees mainly civic leaders drawn from the country’s 47 counties reported to the various JKUAT campuses in the country and enrolled for a new programme in county governance studies developed by JKUAT School of Human Resources Development and aimed at supporting the implementation of the devolution programme spelt out in the new constitution. The programme offered at certificate and diploma levels is calculated to empower civic leaders who are now required by the constitution that has spelt out basic minimum academic standards for those seeking to govern in the devolved county government.
At the JKUAT main campus Juja, 250 participants drawn from Nairobi, central Kenya, eastern and north eastern Kenya were received and addressed by the vice chancellor Prof. Mabel Imbuga, Thursday, February 23, 2012. In her brief address, Prof. Imbuga informed the trainees to utilize the opportunity to ensure successful completion of the course which she said had been designed to empower the beneficiaries’ mainly council mayors, chairmen of county councils and councilors ‘ by converting you into good politicians’.
The idea of the programme was to improve service delivery at the grass root; the vice chancellor told the new students who included former cabinet Minister Maina Kamanda and former Mayor of Embu Agatha Muthoni. Prof. Imbuga appealed to the trainees to spend their time well in their studies and ensure they balanced their other official and family obligations saying the course needed their total commitment.
And Mr. Maina Kamanda had a word of encouragement to his newfound colleagues in class who he urged to seize the golden opportunity to excel from ‘their very humble beginnings’. Kamanda reminded his classmates particularly those with basic secondary school level qualifications to aim higher and progress from certificate to graduate levels. ‘Remember that I started as a councilor in 1978 and rose through the various political cadres to Member of Parliament, Assistant Minister and finally Cabinet Minster’.
The courses that have seen close to 200 participants enroll for the Diploma level are concurrently conducted at JKUAT CBD Campuses of Nakuru, Kisii, Kitale, Kakamega , Taita Taveta and Mombasa respectively. The function was also addressed by Dr. Elegwa Mukulu, Dean, School, Human Resource Development and Dr. Mike Iravo, Chairman Department of Chairman Entrepreneurship and Procurement among others.