The Meru gubernatorial race is taking shape a few months to the August 9 polls, with the most recent entrant being businessman and FinTech guru James Kirimi.
A resident of Mbaaria in Buuri Constituency, Kirimi has vast experience in Technology, FinTech and Banking, having worked in several reputable organizations in the country. He believes these strengths would greatly translate to the change Meru county seeks in efficient service delivery.
“By deploying great planning and organizational skills, I have consistently delivered results that have been recognized by every organization I worked for.” he says.
On why he seeks an opportunity to lead Meru as the next Governor, Mr. Kirimi says he has great plans targeting youth empowerment and tapping the great potential of the county in business and agriculture.
“Being the 7th largest urban city in Kenya, Meru is the commercial capital of Northern and Eastern Kenya. With the appropriate interventions, Meru would record tremendous growth.” says Mr. Kirimi.
Kirimi has over time established himself as a business, management and governance expert, having worked with over 20 government and non-governmental institutions in corporate governance.
“Last year I developed the agriculture sector institutional capacity program based on the Agriculture Sector Transformational Strategy (ASTGS). This plan will be very instrumental for our county as we enhance our agricultural sector.” Mr. Kirimi says.
On matters Technology, Mr. Kirimi plans to utilize his experience to establish several technology hubs in Meru County.
“I just completed a project with a major hospital in Nairobi, and a research project with JICA. JICA is looking for counties to support and I believe we can bring development agencies to support the growth of Meru.” he adds.
James Kirimi was the Project lead for the integration of the Nairobi and Machakos county parking project that enhanced revenue collection significantly in both counties.
He was the National Strategy Director at National Bank, where he increased the organization’s revenue (Non-Funded Income) by 30%.
At National Bank, Mr. Kirimi was in charge of the implementation of a culture change program for over 3,000 employees.
Working with JICA, James Kirimi was able to access and set up development meetings with over 6 ministry officials and 2 county leaders.
He developed the Institutional Capacity Plan that is currently being utilized by MoLFC to implement its Agricultural Sector Transformational Strategy (ASTGS).
He successfully established programs at IEBC in Uganda and Tanzania.
Kiraitu and Munya
Mr. James Kirimi believes that the two veteran Meru politicians have done a great job for the people in their various capacities.
“CS Munya and Governor Kiraitu Murungi have laid the ground work. I will enhance what they have done and set us in the technology and economic growth trajectory.” he says.
Kirimi derives his inspiration from US President Barrack Obama, especially his zeal and ability to lead a country that is deeply divided.
“President Obama was able to rise above this and lead a very successful 10 years. I want to do the same in Meru County. I look at the Bible and notice that Abraham, David, Noah, Paul, Peter and many others had one thing in common – a burning desire to serve. This is the same desire I have.” says Mr. Kirimi.
Health, Agriculture & Education
Kirimi says that Meru has made incredible strides in this area of health. He however believes that a lot more can be done in increasing life expectancy, effective medical schemes and marketing Meru as a health tourism destination in Africa.
“Apart from the disbursements from the National Government, I will embark on an aggressive networking campaign that will attract partnerships, increasing every consecutive year.” he says.
On Education, Kirimi has a robust plan to increase ECDE enrolment rates, reduce teacher-student ratios, increase ICT integration in learning institutions and increase training institutes for vocational training in Meru.
On Agriculture, Kirimi plans to increase value addition for the benefit of banana farmers and potato farmers, as well as developing smart agricultural practices and exploring additional markets for Miraa.
James Kirimi believes that Political parties should not be a priority when choosing leaders.
“For a long time the Ameru people have faithfully supported the government in place. This year I sense a difference. People in Meru are looking for individuals first – who have the interests of the people at heart – and then their party affiliation second.” says Mr. Kirimi.
In his first 100 days as the next Meru Governor, Mr. Kirimi has promised to push a County Ward Development Bill that gives every MCA between 10-20 million to support development efforts in all the Wards.
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