A contender for the seat of governor, Stephen Mwakesi (Photo), pledged to adequately address relevant issues affecting the local community.
The candidate who is a lawyer and economist said he has what it takes to be governor in 2022 not only to solve problems affecting the local community, but also to transform their lives. Mr Mwakesi is among 13 candidates who have stepped up their campaigns to oust incumbent Governor Granton Samboja from power in the August elections this year.
In a telephone interview with The standard, the aspirant who is a close ally of Vice President William Ruto has pledged to tackle the thorny issue of squatters, human-wildlife conflicts, water shortages and to empower women, young people and people with disabilities if he is elected the next governor.
Mwakesi, however, has yet to announce which party he will contest for the supreme seat in the next general election.
Other candidates for the seat include former Governor John Mruttu and former Senator Dan Mwazo. Besides Mwakesi, other new candidates for the lucrative seat are Mwatate MP Andrew Mwadime (ODM), George Mwandembo, Patience Nyange, Elijah Mwandoe and Mwaita Mlaghacho.
At the same time, Mwakesi said other issues he would focus on include land, poor health and education standards in the county, and rising levels of poverty and unemployment.
“There are some communities in the county that have never owned land since time immemorial. I will ensure that these squatters are given land according to the law, in order to improve their socio-economic status,” a- he declared.
He noted that the county was blessed with enormous resources such as water bodies, wildlife and mineral resources which were not exploited for the benefit of the local community. He blamed the current situation on the lack of establishment of appropriate channels of engagement and cooperation between the national government and the county.
“I will engage with the national government to prioritize the start-up of the Mzima Two pipeline to ensure that residents of the county benefit first before the project is rolled out to other counties,” he said. he declares.
The current Mzima pipeline, established in 1957, benefits residents of Mombasa, Kwale and Kilifi counties. Residents of Taita Taveta face persistent water shortages.