Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) have been advised to stick to their core mandates and desist from engaging in politics in order to safeguard their credibility as reliable partners of both levels of government.
H.E the Governor made the call in Kabarnet when he officiated the opening of a devolution training workshop for county officials organized by Baringo County government in partnership with Centre for Enhancing Democracy and Good Governannce (CEDGG) and German based Konrad Adeneur Stiffung.
Governor Cheboi said CSOs which engage in politics and vested interests not only loose direction and fail to achieve its goals but also risk eroding their trust both in communities within which they operate and the government.
'The role of CSOs as partners of government is key in enlightening the citizenry on their rights, their responsibilities and in enhancing public participation as envisaged in the constitution. But some CSOs negate this by deviating from their mission to engage in politics. Some even are known to support very vested interests, even political' said Cheboi.
While thanking CEDGG and Konrad Adeneur Stiffung for their support to his administration in carrying out civic education in Baringo, Governor Cheboi said the establishment of a civic education department was a clear demonstration by his government that it is committed to ensuring county residents are well aware of their rights and participates fully in governance decisions that affect them.
'Educated communities make governance work easier as they know what is expected of them and their participation in decision making brings about ownership of projects and governance decisions,'said Cheboi.
Baringo County Commissioner Peter Okwanyo supported Governor Cheboi in calling on CSOs to share their findings saying most organizations carry out research, identify problems and just keep their findings to themselves instead of sharing the same with relevant arms of governments for necessary action.
Okwanyo pointed out that it was needless to engage in field work year in year out if the identified problems will not be solved.
'I urge you to be sharing information with us as government so that we can actively bridge the gaps that you have identified,' said Okwanyo.
In response to the two county Chiefs, Cornelius Oduor, the CEO of CEDGG said there was need for the establishment of structured engagement with the county governments and the regularization of programmes through the Governor’s Round Table with CSOs.
This, Oduor said, will help in taming organizations that may tend to overstep their core roles by serving vested interests like actively engaging in politics.