The race for the Kisii governor position is no longer about clan politics or party affiliations, but about the aspirants’ manifestos.
Infrastructure, health, youth empowerment and agriculture rank high in the aspirants’ manifestos.
In the race are Rachel Otundo (PPK), Simba Arati (ODM), Chris Obure (Jubilee), Ezekiel Machogu (UDA), Manson Nyamweya (KNC) and Prof Sam Ongeri (DAP-K).
The campaign and media teams of these candidates have been burning the midnight oil on the best strategies to promote their respective camps.
Prof Ongeri’s priority areas include the Afya Bora Kwa Wote Mashinani initiative, clean water, sanitation, environmental conservation and agricultural transformation for food security that he seeks to achieve within two years.
Youth, women and PWDs empowerment initiative, support for trade and industrialisation are all to be achieved within three to five years.
“I will promote jua kali space, market financial support, recognition, improvement, set aside scholarships, infrastructure, TVET institutions, ECD schools, improve on value addition, crop distribution and market expansion,” says Prof Ongeri.
Health being a key pillar, Prof Ongeri says he will focus on upgrading health centres with equal distribution of personnel and facilitation plus equipment.
Incubation centres, ICT hubs and entrepreneurial skills building skills for self-employment will be a centre of focus on youth empowerment.
Mr Machogu believes in devolving resources to fund infrastructural development, especially road networks, education, health trade and uplifting small businesses.
“This will help in poverty eradication and provide healthy and highly skilled manpower. I am committed to delivering beyond the promise. I have always adequately funded the infrastructural development in our schools,” says Mr Machogu.
He said it was time for a change, new leadership, new blood and a new vision.
“I will distribute resources equally without bias with the sole aim of eradicating poverty, ignorance and diseases among our people,” says Mr Machogu.
The former provincial administrator says Kisii has a huge unexploited potential that can be harnessed to create jobs for our youths.
“Time has come when real men and women of goodwill must stand with true leadership that can confront the poverty levels, unemployment and hunger that are threatening the livelihoods and future of our people,” he says.
ODM’s Simba Arati’s manifesto is anchored on eight areas; Agriculture, Economy, Investment, Education, Healthcare, Infrastructure, Security and Governance.
This includes; helping farmers earn a decent living, producing meaningful employment, building ECD centres in every ward, making healthcare affordable for all, increasing road network, increasing access to clean water, supporting regional commercial airport development and providing accountable leadership that values every resident.
“We are determined to usher in a new way of leadership; an inclusive, cohesive and development-oriented society. It is time for new ideas, a new approach to politics and development,” he says
If elected governor in August, Jubilee Party’s Chris Obure says he will prioritise speedy action in key sectors touching on the well-being of residents, including health, provision of clean water, improving the work environment for traders, and job creation leveraging on technological advances among others.
“Kisii is rich in natural resources that need to be utilised fully to achieve economic and social growth. I have formed a team that will look into ways of achieving all these. It calls for proper leadership that is people-centred that has achieved all these milestones achieved.”
Kenya National Congress leader who is flying the party’s ticket Manson Nyamweya says he has a ten-point agenda that he will achieve within 100 days in office and some in the first five years.
In 100 days, he seeks to extend universal health insurance to an additional 10 per cent of the eligible population and promote access to credit facilities.
Under his leadership, he will also form infrastructure youth committees to rehabilitate 100km of roads and facilitate the formation of at least three youth Saccos in each constituency in order to expand micro and small enterprises.
“There is a need to involve all leaders in the county on policy formulation. This will be a people-centred government where public participation will be mandatory as per the constitution.”
Progressive Party Kenya aspirant Rachel Otundo says her priority will be to reduce corruption and wastage and save money for roads, purchase of drugs for hospitals and fair, equitable distribution of resources.
“We need to create theatre centres, academies and camps to attract investors and support men and women from the grassroots.”
Agriculture, she says, is doing worse than it was before devolution. “No new market and no value addition. We need to create employment through industries, soapstone, banana, avocado and sugarcane farming.”
Under her leadership, she says, she will introduce high yielding crops.
“Before funding these industries, we need to find a unique market. A factory can only thrive once we have put up our own farms for fresh produce and then check the market sustainability.”
She will also streamline public service by ensuring that ghost workers are dealt with.