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Citizen Weekly

Sunday 19 April 2015

Yatta residents wary of early start to campaign

Yatta residents have cautioned politicians against early campaigns in the area which they fear will derail development. Instead of spending energy on politics, the residents say, the leaders should supplement the government’s efforts to develop the area. The residents are also reportedly pushing their MP to work with the government following what they say are good signs so far of the government’s intention to better the lives of Yatta people even though they voted Cord iin 2013. The MP Francis Mwangangi, they say, needs government support to accomplish his development agenda that can only be achieved by one working in conjunction with the government.
According to residents of vast semi-arid constituency, majority of voters are now slowly seeing the fruits of the youthful MP’s dalliance with the Jubilee ruling coalition of Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto.
According to sources, Mwangangi’s decision to work with Uhuru whom they overwhelmingly rejected during the last elections has given locals hope that they would benefit from government projects.
According to those well versed with the unfolding social-political and economic events in the area, the constituency can only post development if it is in the government. MP has among other issues, allocated  CDF bursary kitty to orphaned and other financially challenged residents, but locals say they realise that they made a mistake of not voting for Uhuru Kenyatta as then they would be officialy in government where even their burden would be lessened with state projects.
Voters say that next time they will rigorously vet presidential candidates with a view of assessing their chances to win and so make good choices.
But even as residents preoccupy themselves with development matters, candidates for the 2017 race say are now sending feelers.
Among those now seen busy on the ground is former MP Charles Kilonzo, though many were in agreement that the former MP’s performance compared to Mwangangi’s was wanting.
According to another source, those so far identified are Paul Matheka who has started Okoa Yatta lobby group, Kenya Coach Industries executive officer Henry Kimiti and Nzambesi Mutuma both who lost to Mwangangi in the hotly contested 2013 general elections.
However, Mwangangi supporters say that going by the projects their man has initiated on the ground, those now engaging in early campaigns will have a hard time. They cite the Sh2billion rehabilitation of Yatta canal, Kenya Medical Training College and opening the Katangi-Syokisinga road which was impassable besides issuing bursaries.

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