HEATED CONTEST

Kisii governor aspirants woo voters ahead of polls

On Monday, Dagoretti North MP Simba Arati was endorsed by elders from Bobasi constituency.

In Summary

• Arati promised to improve the county's economy and exorcise ghosts of graft from the devolved unit if elected governor.

• Ongwae has said he will not endorse anybody for the seat.

Dagoretti North MP Simba Arati
Dagoretti North MP Simba Arati
Image: ALVIN RATEMO

Aspirants in the Kisii governor's race have continued to woo supporters months to the August 9 General Election.

On Monday, Dagoretti North MP Simba Arati was endorsed by elders from Bobasi constituency.

Thousands of supporters turned up to witness the endorsement at Nyamache Stadium.

Arati promised to improve the county's economy and exorcise ghosts of graft from the devolved unit if elected governor.

"This endorsement is a testimony that our people need change, not just change, but great transformation," he said.

Arati is seeking the ODM party ticket alongside Senator Sam Ongeri and Deputy Governor Joash Maangi.

Arati and Nyaribari Masaba MP Ezekiel Machogu are in the final stages of forming a full team ahead of the nominations.

In a separate rally, Machogu told supporters in Bongonta to be wary of some senior government officials keen on derailing development projects initiated by the state.

"There are some people the President mandated to ensure the projects he launched here are done, but so far none has been fully executed years later. I'm sure they are doing this to sabotage my bid, but our people are watching," he said.

Some of the projects that have stalled include the 18km Getengererie-Ramasha-Kiomiti junction road, which the contractor has since abandoned for lack of money.

Only a three-kilometre stretch was done before the contractor walked away.

Machogu said he has unsuccessfully visited numerous government offices to make a follow-up on the projects.

"They want me to be blamed for their mess. I implore the President to come to my aid so that development projects like these do not become an embarrassment for his administration," the MP said.

He also cited the stalled Riatirimba engineering plant in Masaba South, which he said is yet to be completed.

"The project which by now should be operational has stalled and moulds are forming on the equipment lying there," Machogu said.

He donated a bus to Bongonta Secondary and another one to Mokorogoinwa Secondary at a separate function on Tuesday.

Separately, Senator Ongeri held consultative meetings with opinion leaders from across the county as he stepped up his campaigns.

He said the political experience he has gathered over the years in both public service and politics puts him in good stead to succeed Governor James Ongwae.

Ongeri and Infrastructure CAS Chris Obure are facing resistance over age. Ongeri has turned 84 while Obure is 77.

Obure has since rubbished the age factor, saying with age comes the necessary experience required to better manage the county’s affairs.

On Monday, Ongeri told the electorate to be wary of candidates going round dishing large amounts of cash as they canvass for votes.

"I urge our people to be deliberate in thought and action even as they interrogate who is best-suited to lead them," he said.

He spoke to elders and opinion leaders from various constituencies whom he had called at ATC college grounds.

Maangi is yet to start his formal campaigns.

He told the Star that he would soon select his team.

"I'm under no pressure yet, everything will be done at the right time," he told the Star on the phone.

 Ongwae has said he will not endorse anybody for the seat.

Edited by A.N