Land matters to dominate campaigns in LamuUpdated Thursday, December 27th 2012 at 00:00 GMT +3
By Awadh Babo
The battle to control Lamu’s rich resources has provided a volatile incendiary to the county’s political campaigns ahead of the forthcoming General Election.
Three aspirants are eyeing the governor’s position in Lamu County, an island with a cosmopolitan population that throws the political contest wide open.
Two of the contestants—Lamu West MP Fahim Twaha and Mr Issa Timamy, a long-serving head of the National Museums of Kenya—have had a long-standing rivalry.
Mr Swaleh Imu, an engineer who served as the Electricity Generation Manager at KenGen, is the other contender.
None of the three aspirants have named a running mate yet.
The county, where construction of one of Vision 2030’s flagship projects, the Lamu port, is underway, has provided a fertile hunting ground for votes, even for presidential hopefuls.
Key presidential aspirants have made exploratory forays in Lamu, especially at Mpeketoni, underlining the strategic interest of this remote region to their campaigns.
Famous for the Lamu cultural festival and exciting donkey races, competition for the position of governor is heating up.
Historically, the indigenous people are the Bajuni (farmers and fishermen), Boni (hunters and gatherers), Wa Amu (farmers and traders), Giriama (farmers), Wasanye (hunters and gatherers) and Orma/Wakore who are pastoralists.
However, the establishment of settlement schemes on the mainland after independence transformed the county into a cosmopolitan region. And with an estimated population of 101,539, the cosmopolitan composition throws the political contest wide open since no single ethnic community is large enough to wield a majority vote.
Welcome to Lamu County
Location: Located in the northern coast. It borders Garissa to the north, The Indian Ocean to the south and south east and Tana River County to the south west and west.
Surface area: 6,273.1km2
Population: 101,539 with a density of 16 people per km2
Capital: Lamu town (proposed)
Constituencies (2010): Lamu East and Lamu West
Registered voters: 51,830
Key national monuments: Boni-Dodori National Reserve, Lamu museum, Lamu Fort, Siyu Fort, Takwa Ruins, Swahili House, German Post Office, Lamu Old Town and Kiunga Marine National Reserve
Poverty level: 31.6 per cent
Resources: Wildlife, livestock, water and tourist attraction sites
Tourist Attractions: National Monuments, Pate Ruins, Manda Island, Maton
1Man resurrects minutes before being buried and starts screaming inside coffin A Chinese man who was declared dead was heard crying and wheezing in his coffin by stunned...
2Women's health: Everything you need to know about keeping your lady parts healthy Just like your skin and hair, your vagina changes with age. Trouble is, our lady bits aren...
3MPs plot hefty pension for life from first term All current and former MPs since 1963 will soon each be entitled to a Sh100,000 pension ev...
4Sonko ‘loves’ Kenya’s sexiest preacher, Reverend Lucy Natasha Curious Kenyans, many of whom believe that Natasha is a Rwandan - owing to her beauty - qu...
5The short tight skirt... a real low in my life — Police corporal Linda Okello Police corporal Linda Okello was thrust into the limelight last year when a picture of her...
1Leaders ought to let go when their time is up "When a leader tries to change the rules in the middle of the game just to stay in office," said US ...
2MPs plot hefty pension for life from first term All current and former MPs since 1963 will soon each be entitled to a Sh100,000 pension every month ...
3Revenue clerks evicted, injured in border row between Kiambu and Murang'a A border dispute between Kiambu and Murang'a counties has once again escalated after county askaris ...
4Mukuru gets state of the art maternity unit The new Sh20 million state-of-the-art maternity wing that was unveiled by Governor Evans Kidero is t...
5Investor wants State to rescue Pride of Africa after huge loss Billionaire businessman Chris Kirubi expressed shock at the announcement that Kenya Airways had repo...
1Was Kidero grass for hire? Video showing plants being uprooted raises questions The video shows a team of casual workers hard at work uprooting plants which surprisingly are still ...
2Kidero grass will be back for the Pope! Kenyans react to alleged uprooting of grass and plants Using the Hashtag #KideroGrass, the good people of Kenya have reacted in their own angry, frustrated...
3Random Blues: At the 'hat' of Kenyan politics The American expatriate might reasonably assume that this is a sensible piece of sun-protecting head...
4He taught me comedy when I was just a boy - Mwalimu King'ang'i eulogizes Mzee Ojwang Mzee Ojwang will not only be remembered as an actor, but as a legend that touched the lives of many ...
5Gospel artiste Gloria Muliro’s ex-husband declares his ‘single’ status It all started early this year when news of their marital issues became public knowledge. As it emer...