KAKAMEGA DECIDES 2022
By Collins Chibole
“I have 25 years’ experience working in government institutions but a time has come for me to work for the people of Kakamega County and finish the work that was started by Governor Wycliffe Oparanya,”
There was pomp and colour at Bukhungu stadium during the launch of Fernandes Barasa gubernatorial bid.
His wife, Prof Janet Kasili and a host of local MCAs were present.
The Former Kenya Electricity Transmission Company managing director is vying on Raila Odinga’s ODM party.
“I have 25 years’ experience working in government institutions but a time has come for me to work for the people of Kakamega County and finish the work that was started by Governor Wycliffe Oparanya,” said Barasa in his maiden speech.
Barasa told the mammoth crowd at the stadium that he has what it takes to be the next county chief after Oparanya as compared to his competitors in the race who do not have leadership qualities.
“The governorship seat does not need a politician but a manager like me who understands how to make policies that will go a long way in bringing development and jobs to the electorate,” said Barasa.
He added: “Kakamega must get a leader of my calibre who understands how a government works. I want to commit myself to commit to finish all the flagship projects that were started by Governor Oparanya who has already laid the county’s development blueprint,”
Barasa used the opportunity to outline his five-point development agenda saying in case he is elected the next governor, he will bring back the ward development fund.
He said for the county to realise meaningful development, ward reps must have a development kitty to use in developing their wards and streamline economic growth.
Barasa said he will also give the education sector a first priority, saying the county has many needy students and in order to cushion them, he will set aside a special bursary fund that will take care of their needs.
“The bursary kitty will ensure all students from needy families’ access quality education from secondary to university education. This is the only way we shall use to reduce the high poverty rates,” said Barasa.
The former Ketraco boss added that he will revise the scheme of service of ECDE teachers by increasing their salaries and at the same time, have them employed permanently by his government.
He said his government will also pump resources to the Small and Micro Enterprises (SMEs) by giving them interest free loans, saying it will go along in creating more job opportunities for the youths as well as improving their standards of living.
On the flip side, Barasa will have to square it out with Kakamega Deputy Governor Philip Kutima and Shinyalu MP Kizito Mugalia at the ODM party nominations to pick there flagbearer in the county.
Others in the race are Lugari MP Ayub Savula who will be seeking the governorship seat on Democratic Alliance Party of Kenya, Boni Khalwale (UDA), Cleophas Malala (ANC) and Amukoa Anangwe (ANC) among others.
Kakamega County Assembly Leader Kennedy Kiliwake announced that the ward reps were supporting his bid, saying they want to have an ODM governor in the county and that it’s only Barasa who can deliver the seat for the party.
Senatorial aspirants Benjamin Andama, Dr Brian Lishenga and Dr Simbauni Ndombi were present.