Africa-Press – Kenya. The race for the Kiambu County governor seat is set to intensify less than 40 days before the general elections as six top candidates outline their manifestos.
The six candidates include incumbent James Nyoro who will be defending his seat on a Jubilee ticket, former Governor William Kabogo (Tujibebe Party), Senator Kimani Wamatangi (UDA), Gatundu South Moses Kuria (Chama Cha Kazi), Thika MP Patrick Wainaina (Independent) and Mwende Gatabaki (Safina).
The six will battle it out for the 1.27 million votes in Kiambu County with each gunning for the highest percentage of votes.
The County has 12 sub-counties with Ruiru leading with the highest number of registered voters (172,088) followed by Thika (156,018), Juja (134,638), Githunguri (104,592), Kiambaa (104,268), Kikuyu (98,758) and Limuru (93, 019).
Others are Kabete (91,775), Kiambu (86,986), Lari (81,196), Gatundu South (79,860) and Gatundu North (71,810).
Nyoro who ascended to power in January 2020 following the successful impeachment of Waititu is leaving nothing to chance to retain his seat.
He is set to unveil his six pillar manifesto, which focuses on Health, Agriculture, Water, Education, Roads and support Infrastructure, on Friday.
The Governor will be banking on the development projects that his administration has initiated across the county, some of which are complete and others underway, to woo voters.
Despite his administration facing numerous challenges occasioned by the Covid-19 pandemic, Nyoro boasts of initiating and overseeing projects, especially in the health department.
Recently, the county chief noted that his administration has triggered massive developments in the health sector that have seen access to quality health services improved in the entire county.
He noted that when he assumed office, the entire county had five ICU beds only and in a span of less than two years, the number has risen to 32.
The number is expected to rise to 36 with plans to put up four paediatric ICU beds at Thika Level 5 Hospital. Also bed capacity has increased from 200 to over 1000.
He quipped that his administration cleared all debts the county government owed contractors and some of the projects that had stalled have been completed while others are on the verge of being completed.
Some of the facilities that had stalled include Thogoto, Tigoni, Wangige and Rukuma level four hospitals.
“We have invested heavily in the health sector including procurement of bulk oxygen, medical supplies and hiring of more medics to enable use fight the coronavirus pandemic as well as improve health services to our people. Our determination has been to serve Kiambu residents diligently and effectively,” he noted.
Nyoro also banks his support on Kiambu traders having fast-tracked completion of major markets in the region including Ruiru, Juja, Kikuyu, Wangige and Githurai markets.
The markets have been a significant boost for traders within the county who have in the past been operating under decrepit conditions.
Also, the governor is currently spearheading the construction of modern markets in Makongeni, Gatukuyu and Kamwangi in Thika and Gatundu North sub-counties respectively.
The County Chief who is an Agricultural Economist by profession also believes that his pursuit to revive agriculture and promote agribusiness in the county will give him a competitive edge in the race.
Recently he launched the distribution of sh 34 million maize and beans seeds to farmers across the county.
The 105 tons of maize and 14 tons of beans seeds have been disbursed to farmers across the 60 wards in the county.
“We are keen on making our county food secure and ensuring that the agriculture being practised in Kiambu is profitable. We have training programs for our farmers in our county farms including Waruhiu Farm to train our farmers on better farming practices to enable them to reap huge benefits from their farming,” Nyoro said.
The governor also indicated that for the two years he’s been in office, he has managed to oversee tarmacking of over 100 kilometres of roads within the county and hundreds of kilometres improved to gravel standards.
“We have opened up many places by making roads motorable for the sake of improved transport. now our people can do their business with ease and our farmers can take their produce to markets without struggle. In our second term we will ensure we construct more roads,” the governor said.
The Governor also noted that he is keen on improving the livelihoods of Kiambu residents by availing requisite amenities and financial aid for them to boost their ventures.
He cited the sh 1.3 billion revolving fund which his administration recently launched in partnership with KCB.
Meanwhile, Nyoro is expected to bag votes from the minority communities living and working in Kiambu and those supporting the Azimio coalition.
Kiambu being a cosmopolitan county, there are over 300,000 residents from other tribes living and working in tea plantations and factories within the region.