Governor’s race fever hots up in Kwale

As the high-stake August 9th General Election fast approaches, gubernatorial candidates in Kwale County are getting busy with their campaigns to woo voters.

The hopefuls who include veteran politicians and novices have hit the campaign trail in a bid to win the hearts and minds of the voters in the countdown to the polls.

Deputy Governor Fatuma Achani (UDA), Prof. Hamadi Boga (ODM) and Eng. Chai Lung’anzi of Pamoja Africa Alliance (PAA) are increasingly seen as the favourites to win and become the second governor of the county.

Others in the race to succeed outgoing Governor Salim Mvurya include former Cabinet Minister Chirau Ali Mwakwere (Wiper), County Speaker Sammy Ruwa (Independent) and prominent businessman Gereza Dena (KANU).

Some of the candidates have resorted to using social media platforms, dotting the roads with campaign billboards and other techniques to woo voters besides time tested traditional political rallies and road shows.

Campaign billboards are helpful since they increase the candidates’ visibility and put a face to the campaign.

Achani, who is the only female politician in the ring, is banking on the votes of women and the youth whom she says are still grappling with limited political inclusion and high levels of poverty.

“I beseech all people of Kwale County to now elect the first women Governor to continue from where Mvurya left,” she quips.

She is also encouraging women and the youth to unite if they are to succeed in their political endeavors. If Achani wins, she will become the first female governor from the coastal county and the coastal region at large.

Achani is urging the electorate to vote for her to guarantee continuity of Kwale development plans having served as Mvurya’s deputy for ten years.

“I have the political and managerial experience needed for the county’s top seat,” she said in Ukunda Township while on a meet-the-people tour to woo voters.

She says her party is running open and honest campaigns and expressed confidence that UDA will clinch the seat.

Achani said she won’t entertain politics of division and hatred noting that the people are yearning for issue based campaigns.

She says her opponents in the male-dominated political theater have resorted to abusing and ridiculing her simply because she is a woman.

“They claim a woman cannot lead but ignore the fact that in neighbouring Tanzania we have a female president, Samia Suluhu,” she said.

“I’ll continue to offer political goodwill, infrastructure development, and enhance allocation and distribution of resources to the SMEs for sustainable economic development,” she said.

Achani stated that she will make all possible efforts to support women in solving their socio-economic problems, adding women are increasingly becoming head and breadwinners of their families hence the need to help them engage in income generating activities.

Prof. Boga while on a meet-the-people tour in several locations stressed the need for a high voter turnout in the upcoming election.

Prof. Boga a former Agriculture Principal Secretary exuded confidence of clinching the coveted position noting that ODM party has a strong following in the county.

The academician-turned-politician identified fisheries, minerals, agriculture and tourism as the key economic drivers that can take Kwale to the next level development wise.

Prof. Boga promises a vibrant economy to the locals saying he will engage key stakeholders to plan tourism and fishing sectors revival if elected.

“I will focus on the fishing and tourism sectors as they are the main backbone of our local economy besides aiming to tackle the ballooning youth unemployment,” he said.

He went on: “My other focus will be on strengthening health facilities to bring better and quality healthcare to the people.”

He says his agenda will focus on ensuring universal healthcare for all in the county. “This will be through several projects that would bring better and quality healthcare to the people. The target is to expand coverage and improve quality of primary healthcare and referral services, with special focus on mothers and children,” he said.

On his part Lunganzi says he will focus on the fishing and tourism sectors and other spheres of development if elected governor.

He promised to revamp tourism and agriculture if elected, noting that the region has lagged behind in matters development due to bad political leadership over the years.

Eng. Lunganzi, a former employee of the Kenya Ports Authority says his main agenda in seeking to represent the county was in pursuit of a fair, just and equitable society.



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