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UDF officials declare support for Shitanda

By - | Feb 4th 2013 | 3 min read


 Kakamega, KENYA: United Democratic Forum’s (UDF) Kakamega governor candidate Paul Olando suffered a political setback after county’s party officials dumped him for his rival Soita Shitanda.

UDF held a meeting of delegates from the county at a Kakamega hotel and declared that they would support Shitanda.

Led by chairman UDF Kakamega branch Moses Lumiti and youth leader Alex Khamasi, they said Shitanda has been a key player in marshaling support for Deputy Prime Minister Musalia Mudavadi in the region and they would not abandon him. “UDF Kakamega office has resolved to rally behind Shitanda and not Olando for the governor’s seat,” said Mr Lumiti.

He added the party would use its resources to support Shitanda, who they believe stands a better chance of clinching the seat.

Shitanda and Olando have been cleared by Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission to run for the seat on New Ford-Kenya and UDF parties.

Point man

Olando, the former Nyanza Provincial Commissioner, has now been put in a tight corner after losing the backing of the UDF office.

“Shitanda has been a key player in the formation of UDF and it is only right that the party supports him to clinch the governor post,” said Mr Khamasi.  “The minister has elaborate plans to assist youths secure employment. We will mobilise youths to rally behind him.”

According to him Kakamega County is a major support base for Mudavadi and Shitanda would act as the best point man for him.

“Mudavadi has more support in Kakamega than his Vihiga turf. We urge all UDF aspirants in the county including Boni Khalwale to support Shitanda,” he said.

On his part, Shitanda said he does not bear any bad feelings against UDF party, which barred him from contesting for the governor’s post, noting that the party was not prepared for the primaries.

“Mudavadi and other party officials were kept in the dark during my disqualification that’s why I don’t bear any hard feelings against the party or it’s leader,” said Shitanda.

He promised to campaign for Mudavadi in his presidential bid.

The Housing minister said his track record at the ministry was a clear indicator that he was best fit for the job.

Barred by UDF

“I will be able to deliver as the first governor of the second largest county in the country if elected. I will address infrastructure, unemployment, education, poverty, health and agriculture for my residents,” he stated.

Shitanda joined New-Ford Kenya after he was barred by UDF national office during the nomination exercise over his academic papers.

Olando said he welcomed the candidature of Shitanda in the race and added that it was in the spirit of democracy that the electorate picks the best from the two of them in Amani coalition.

The two will battle it out with Planning Minister Wycliffe Oparanya of ODM and former Turkana North DC Albert Mwilitsa of URP.



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