Three county ministers seek to succeed Cyprian Awiti

Homa Bay Governor Cyprian Awiti on January 28, 2022. [James Omoro, Standard]

Homa Bay Governor Cyprian Awiti is in a dilemma on who to support after three senior cabinet members expressed interest to succeed him.

Earlier, Awiti had said he is the custodian of the “key” to the county governorship. The statement was interpreted to mean that the aspirant who secures his support stood a better chance of winning the governor seat.

The governor aspirants are Deputy Governor Hamilton Orata, County Secretary Isaiah Ogwe and the County Executive Committee Member for Finance Nicholas Koriko.

Mr Orata has since embarked on campaigns and over the weekend he picked women to serve as his ambassadors in various villages across the eight constituencies in Homa Bay.

He met women from Kasipul constituency in a hotel before proceeding to other constituencies.

The “ambassadors” will be tasked with promoting Orata’s candidature.

“I am not looking for supporters but I am looking for stakeholders who will help me run the county government,” he said.

The Deputy Governor promised to ensure peaceful campaigns.

“I am going to campaign by meeting groups of people to create mutual understanding with voters. I will promote peaceful campaigns,” said Orata.

He promised to implement various development projects to improve livelihoods of the people.

Orata exuded confidence that his knowledge and experience on how to implement devolution better.

“I have served as a deputy governor for nine years and this has given me enough experience in understanding devolution. Today, I understand what should be done to the people in which manner and at what time,” he said.

He promised to empower women and the youth to enable them to earn a living. 

Orata pledged to roll out a revolving fund to benefit women who engage in business.

“Women are the engine of households because they are the people who play a major role in feeding families. Therefore, my leadership must ensure women are empowered to do business,” Orata said.

The deputy governor said shortcomings of the county government should not be seen as failures by the administration of Governor Cyprian Awiti since structures are still being put in place.

“As we look at the negative side of the incomplete projects of the county government, let us also think of the success of the county government such as enhancing early childhood education among others,” he added.

Mr Koriko has been meeting voters in villages to seek their support.

He promised to empower residents and improve service delivery.

“We will empower residents so that they can undertake income-generating activities to improve their livelihood if I am elected governor,” said Koriko.

Mr Ogwe has been meeting residents to sell his agenda.

He recently met parents and distributed Sh1.5m from his hotel businesses to over 300 students from vulnerable families.

“I am in the race for the county governorship and I will prioritize education and other development agenda if I am elected,” Ogwe said.

The Cabinet ministers worked hard to ensure Awiti’s re-election in the 2017 General election.

Orata has never had wrangles with Awiti since they came to power in 2013. He acted as a governor when Awiti was sick after the 2017General Election.

Koriko has also ensured efficiency in utilisation of the county funds.

Ogwe who is in charge of civil service in the county has been loyal to Awiti and ensured efficient service delivery.

The other aspirants for the seat are Homa Bay Woman Rep Gladys Wanga, former Kasipul MP Oyugi Magwanga, former Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero, Suba South MP John Mbadi, businessman Jared Otieno, Kuppet Secretary-General Akelo Misori and businessman Luis Ogingo.

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