The MAPACA Theatre actors performing the Play at Unoa Grounds during the Jukumu Letu Initiative launch in Makueni County

The MAPACA Theatre actors performing the Play at Unoa Grounds during the Jukumu Letu Initiative launch in Makueni County

As Kenya marks three years of devolution, Makueni County is perhaps a typical example of the teething problems of devolution and a play staged at Unoa grounds, in Wote, Makueni during the launch of Jukumu Letu initiative sought to underscore the importance of public participation in the devolved system of governance.

The initiative geared towards creating a proactive population by creating awareness on the constitution and issues centered on governance through artistic works attracted hundreds of residents including Governor Kivutha Kibwana.

The play opens at a public venue, a politician has organized a home-coming party, one year after his election and has invited his constituents to celebrate the victory.

As usual, in such parties, food and drinks are in plenty and women with the best culinary skills have been hired, of course at the taxpayers’ expense, to cook for the hundreds of residents who turn out for the celebrations. However, as the partying progresses one of the attendants Mama Kathiani, dissatisfied with the local leadership demands for an explanation as to why their leader is spending public money on such a celebration instead of using the funds to initiate development.

The village is facing a myriad of challenges ranging from poor infrastructure, lack of quality health care to acute water shortages and Mama Kathiani undoubtedly cannot understand the leader’s choice of misplaced priorities.
The lone voice of Mama Kathiani burdened by the task of walking for long distances in search of water is determined to awaken the conscience of her fellow constituents to demand for people centered leadership.

The play has a successful conclusion; Mama Muthiani single- handedly manages to mobilize the other residents in attendance to demand for proper leadership devoid of empty rhetoric much to the chagrin of the politician and his sycophants.

While Wote residents were laughing and listening keenly to the play, it is hoped that they will internalize it and reflect on it, guided by the leadership wrangles affecting the County. In addition, this initiative needs to be done to all other sub-counties and even recorded to be distributed to all and sundry in the county so as to have a larger reach of citizens. Such will provide a critical knowledgeable mass on how their leaders treat them and use their resources.