Kavindu will battle it out with four men to retain Machakos senatorial position

The Machakos senatorial seat has attracted five candidates unlike in the past when there were more contestants.

Senator Agnes Kavindu, the incumbent, will battle it out with four men to hold on to the seat, which she won in a by-election in March last year.

The other aspirants are lawyers Bernard Mung’ata and Jacob Mutula, and politicians Mutua Katuku and Urbanus Ngengele.

The five are expected to reach out to the electorate in the county’s eight constituencies.

The eight constituencies namely Yatta, Masinga, Mwala, Matungu, Kangundo, Kathiani, Machakos Town and Mavoko have over 700,000 registered voters.

Traditionally, the county politics has been dominated by Wiper Democratic Movement, but the entry of Maendeleo Chap Chap party has muddied the water for Wiper.

Ms Kavindu won the seat on a Wiper ticket, garnering 104,500 votes. Mr Urbanus Ngengele of UDA came second with 19,700 votes.

The by-election was occasioned by the death of Senator Boniface Kabaka.

Ms Kavindu said she is confident of retaining the seat because she has demonstrated that she is a performer, in the short period she has been in office.

She said if given adequate time, five years, she would safeguard taxpayers’ money.

“I am not afraid of the men. Let them come and l will face them accordingly,” said Ms Kavindu.

She said the pressure she had put on the county government to provide drugs in public hospitals had borne fruit.

“If l have done so much within such a short time, I can do much more if given five years to provide oversight,” she stated.

The senator called on the people of Machakos to conduct mature and peaceful campaigns.

Mr Mung’ata, who is vying on a Maendeleo Chap Chap ticket, said he has what it takes to be the next senator.

“Having gained a wealth of experience in leadership and corporate circles, l am confident that l will oversight the county government appropriately,” said Mr Mung’ata, the former Machakos County Assembly speaker.

He also served as the chairman of the Industrial Commercial and Development Corporation for four years.

Lawyer Mutula, who is vying on a Democratic Party (DP) ticket, said his experience handling cases locally and internationally gives him an edge to play the oversight role.

He said he joined politics in the ‘90s.

“I played a big role within DP during the reign of retired President Mwai Kibaki, who was the party leader,” added Mr Mutula.

He also said he has been helping vulnerable families through partnerships with international organisations.

“We have helped many widows. For example, in Kalama sub-county we gave out 100 goats to widows to empower them economically,” he said.

He said he and his foreign friends are planning to build a multi-billion shilling hospital to complement public health facilities.

Mr Katuku is a seasoned politician who joined politics in the 1990s.

He is a former MP for Mwala and a former Assistant Minister in Kibaki’s government. Mr Katuku had kept off politics for a while until recently.

During the March by-election, he expressed interest to vie on a Maendeleo Chap Chap ticket only to quit at the eleventh hour. Mr Katuku regrets it but says he is not to blame for that decision.

He has since quit Maendeleo Chap Chap and joined The Peoples Trust Party under the Azimio la Umoja movement.

Mr Ngengele, who recently ditched UDA for Azimio has been involved in grassroots development. He has been using his resources to repair roads and sink boreholes in rural areas.

“This is God’s calling. I just don’t do that because l have a lot of money. I do it to alleviate the suffering of our people.”

Mr Ngengele said if elected, he would ensure no single cent of Machakos people is misplaced.

He said he left UDA on the advice of his supporters and joined Azimio la Umoja.

In the wake of the Azimio wave in Machakos County, UDA and Maendeleo Chapchap parties have suffered a blow following defections.