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Nyanza leaders upbeat after poll, say it's region's defining moment

Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang'i casts his vote at Manga polling center in Nyamira County on August 9, 2022. [Sammy Omingo, Standard]

Nyanza leaders have confidence that the General Election will usher in capable leaders who will transform the region’s economy.

The leaders challenged locals to ensure the best out of the voting. saying their future depends on the outcome of the vote.

In a region where four governors are retiring, there is belief that the incoming leadership should address socio-economic challenges that have for long impeded the growth of key sectors in the region. 

In the Gusii region, leaders said those who will be elected should harness the region’s agricultural potential. For several decades, Kisii and Nyamira counties have been the breadbasket for the vast Nyanza region.  

Nyamira ODM governorship candidate Timothy Bosire said the county had experienced calm all through the campaigns and was geared for better days.

“We haven’t seen any ugly incidents on the voting day. All we need are leaders who can steer the county to prosperity. We need accountable leaders,” he said. 

Region’s destiny

Kisii Woman Rep candidate Janet Ongera (ODM) said voters had the opportunity to decide the destiny of Kisii County through the ballot.

“We have been presented with an opportunity to elect leaders with the knowledge that we can transform the county by voting in qualified leaders,” she said.

Governorship candidate Chris Obure (Jubilee) said leaders who will be elected should work in harmony. “The focus is not on who has more energy to fight other leaders, but who best addresses the wishes of Kisii people,” he said. 

Kisii Governorship candidate Chris Obure. [Sammy Omingo, Standard]

On Tuesday, Ongera was among the first leaders to cast her vote. She cast her vote at Riambase Primary School in Bobasi constituency. In Nyamira, Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i was among the first people to cast his votes. 

The CS voted at Manga Girls at 6am. Addressing journalists, he said security agencies were on high alert across the country.

In Kisumu, Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o said the election is significant for the region.

The county chief, who is seeking a second term, cast his vote at 8.30am at Ratta in Seme.

No violence

He said authorities had done well in ensuring violence did nor mar voting. His challenger, former Governor Jack Ranguma, cast his vote at Kobura Primary School at 10am and expressed optimism that he would reclaim the seat.

He believes he is the gem that will transform Kisumu. In an interview with The Standard, the former county chief, however, alleged that some of his agents had been thrown out by IEBC from polling centers.

In Homa Bay, governorship hopeful Gladys Wanga cast her vote at the Alara Kolayo polling station at around 10am, where she also expressed optimism that the next crop of leaders will transform the region.

She is facing stiff competition from former Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero.

Gladys Wanga casts her vote at the Alara Kolayo polling station. [James Omoro, Standard]

Both of them have been campaigning on a platform of change and development for the devolved unit that has been a subject of ridicule over its sluggish implementation of devolution in the last 10 years.

Former Chief Administrative Secretary for East Africa Community Ken Obura, who cast his vote at Jomo Kenyatta Sportsground, lauded the poll process by the IEBC and threw his weight behind the expectations that the polls will be a defining moment for Nyanza.

Across the region, voters interviewed in Migori, Siaya, Kisii, Nyamira and Kisumu said they expected the incoming leaders to focus on the economy, job creation and security.