Mombasa County lead in inspiring Citizen Engagement
by Super User

Residents of Mombasa County have a big reason to smile despite the recent urban challenges such as insecurity experienced in the coastal city and its environs.

On Thursday 12 June 2014, Mombasa residents gathered in their numbers at the Treasury Square to witness the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the County Government of Mombasa and their popular citizens platform – the Mombasa Local Urban Forum (MLUF), setting an unprecedented stage for citizens engagement. Mombasa Local Urban Forum (MLUF) is one amongst 14 of such citizens platforms established in 14 towns of Kenya through the support of the Civil Society Urban Development Programme (CSUDP).

In their efforts to exercise the participatory mandate as provided for in various laws of devolution, MLUF gained the confidence of the County Government as an appropriate platform for dialogue and citizens engagement in various development and governance affairs undertaken in the County. Addressing the gathering at the Treasury Square, Hon. Francis Thoya, the County Minister, Ministry of Lands, Housing and Physical Planning (MoLHP) observed that the cooperation under this memorandum will strengthen citizen participation in governance and decision making thereby ensuring popularly endorsed development undertakings. ‘This is an important agreement that has been signed today, the first of its kind since the establishment of the County Government system’, he further observed. On her part, Ms. Halima Mohammed Ag. Chairperson, MLUF observed that the memorandum signed today symbolizes commitment by the Couty Government of Mombasa to pursue equitable economic and social development that spreads the benefits of development to all citizens irrespective of their status in society. She particularly emphasized that the cooperation framework will provide a suitable avenue to progressively integrate the interests of the poor in all spheres of county development.

While congratulating MLUF and the County Government on this achievement, Mr. Shem Wachira of CSUDP expressed confidence that this unprecedented move by Mombasa will serve as a key inspiration for other County Governments to establish active Citizens Forums as envisaged in the County Government Act (2012) and the Urban Areas and Cities Act (2011). Hon. Thoya and Ms. Mohammed signed the MOU in the presence of officers from the County Government and representatives of Civil Society Organizations (CSO’s) that form MLUF. In his Facebook post of 12 June 2014 on the event (https://www.facebook.com/alihassanjoho/), Governor Ali Hassan Joho noted that the MOU is a springboard through which residents from the grassroots level have the opportunity to sit with the county representatives to give their proposals on how they would like to be served better. 

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