Artists drawn from different genres; musicians, puppeteers, Disk Jockeys (DJs) and threatre challenged Makueni County residents to read, understand and uphold the Constitution in order to ensure a better life. The artists meeting under the Jukumu Letu initiative performed their arts at Unoa Grounds, Wote town, Makueni County in the presence of hundreds of residents including the Governor, Prof. Kivutha Kubwana.
— SARABI BAND (@sarabiafrica) March 21, 2015
The Jukumu Letu initiative is meant to create a conscience population of what the Constitution says and the obligations on citizens to not only read it but use it to embrace a responsive and accountable government. It underlines that through knowledge of what the Constitution says, citizens can better use that information to hold their leaders to account and ensure better service delivery at this nascent stage of devolution.
— CRECO (@CRECOKenya) March 20, 2015
The use of artists from the area was to ensure sustainability so that once the project is launched, they can spread the messages through their various mediums to other residents of the County.
Governor Kibwana acknowledged that the message being passed across by the artists was powerful, apparent and useful for them to reflect, as leaders, as to how they have and should be governing.
Makueni residents petitioned the President to suspend their county due to unresponsiveness of their leaders. The President formed a Commission of Inquiry into the petition which was sworn in two weeks ago and as it prepares to visit the residents to collect their views, citizens are determined to not only fulfill their public participation obligation, but also see to it that the county leadership is replaced. For the residents, their leaders including the Members of County Assemblies (MCAs) and Governor ought to work for them to ensure their livelihoods have changed. Makueni suffers perennial problems of water scarcity, poverty and roads among others. For them, their leaders have not been prioritizing these issues but preoccupying themselves with foreign trips, increasing allowances and against their participation in budget making processes and projects.
The use of artists is a laudable move, Governor Kibwana once remarked, “it is speaking to people in a way that people can listen.” For instance, Disk Jockeys (DJs) who were trainined by DJs with a Course, were equipped on the music and reasons for them to play socially conscience music. It will then be expected that as they entertain crowds in entertainment areas, they remind them of their constitutional obligations and rights through songs that highlight these issues.The focus should now be to spread this initiative across the County. The launch was in Wote, but Makueni County is more than their seat of power, hence other sub-counties, wards and even villages should feel this rallying call through their artists. A glance at the elated crowds at Unoa Grounds revealed that many will embrace this initiative. The onus is therefore in taking it to the people, in their comforts.