Mbooni Constituency: Poverty the main issue as Munyao seeks another term

The battle line has been drawn between Livestock and Fisheries minister Joseph Konzolo Munyao and nominated MP Mutula Kilonzo in a field pitting youthful politicians against the old and the middle-aged.

Mr Munyao is facing strong opposition from Mr Kilonzo, the ODM Kenya team leader who is venturing into competitive politics for the first time.

Mbooni in Makueni district is among the oldest in the region, but it is perhaps the most stagnated in development.

It has one of the worst roads in Ukambani, yet it has some of the best brains in the area.

It is the only region in Ukambani in which residents do not pray for rain, yet when it pours, they are cut off from the rest of the world as the roads become impassable.

The constituency has many sources of fresh water, especially from its hilly terrain, yet this resource is yet to be harnessed for domestic use, making potable water a mere pipe-dream.

It is this underdevelopment that is used as a weapon during election time to fight the sitting MP.

Mr Kilonzo, a lawyer by profession, has had his image and ego boosted by his active participation in the ODM-K politics which saw him appointed team leader.

This is a position he has used to his advantage by selling himself to the people.

He has endeared himself to the residents by organising high-profile fund-raising meetings to aid poor university students and women’s groups.

Besides, he aligns himself to ODM-K presidential hopeful Kalonzo Musyoka who supporting his bid for the seat.

Although he might have Mr Musyoka’s backing, Mr Kilonzo is likely to find the going tough against a team of hopefuls who have made it known that they will fight him and Mr Munyao to the bitter end to deny them the seat.

But recent developments in ODM-K do not seem to augur well for Mr Kilonzo. He is a Kanu nominated MP and therefore bonded by the party’s recent development in which it is yet to state clearly its clear position in the coalition.

This puts him in a dilemma as he is torn between Kanu and his friend, Mr Musyoka, whom he is eyeing the ODM-K presidential nomination.

Leading the pack of opponents is retired Narok Teachers College principal Joseph Mulei Musya — Health minister Charity Ngilu’s younger brother — Mr Ngotho Kasyoki, Mr Jackson Wambua and journalist Nicky Waita.

Also in the race is a son of Mr Kisoi Munyao — the independence hero who climbed to the peak of Mt Kenya hoist the national flag — Mr Michael Kisoi Munyao, and Mr Obadiah Musyimi Mulwa.

Other candidates are Mr Pius Kithome Pinkerton, city businessman Erastus Nzioka, Mr Mutua Mutyeia, Dr Kavini Ndambuki, Mr Stephen Kimondi, Mr Patrick Munguti, Mr George Mbate and Mr George Kavyu.

Leading women candidates is retired public health nursing tutor Esther Mueni Ngumbi, Ms Anastasia M. Ngambi and Mrs Esther Kiamba.

Mr Musya enjoys support on the ground because, unlike other politicians who retreated to urban areas after losing the 2002 election, he has remained in rural Mbooni to continue with quiet campaigns.

He was rewarded when soon after his unsuccessful parliamentary bid, he was elected chairman of the Kikima farmers cooperative society by an overwhelming majority.

His leadership qualities were seen when he helped to reduce the society’s debts from Sh32 million to Sh8 million by last year.

Mr Musya says Mbooni needs a new brand of leaders, and accuses past MPs of having nothing to show for their representation.

“As much as we respect our MP for having represented Mbooni for three terms, we feel he has done little that people can be proud of,” he says.

Mr Kasyoki recently told Mr Musyoka publicly to stop supporting Mr Kilonzo and appoint him attorney-general if he becomes president.

The hopeful who is yet to resign from his East African Portland cement company job, blames previous MPs for Mbooni’s underdevelopment.

Mr Wambua who has opted for early retirement to venture into politics says, the voters have been taken for a ride since independence in 1963.

Mr Wambua who is from Mbanya sublocation, has joined the race forcefully and is being viewed as among the serious challengers.

He describes himself as a visionary leader, and has already prepared a development blueprint, which includes poverty reduction, building of roads, improving health facilities and the provision of clean water in his first two years if elected.

He accuses Mr Munyao of channelling Constituency Development Fund money to areas that do not benefit the residents, such as a social hall in each location.

Mr Waita who has worked with the Presidential Press Service and the latest entry to the growing list of hopefuls, claims that he used his position during President Moi’s reign to influence projects like the 6.4km Mulima-Kitoo road, the local rural electrification project currently going on in parts of the constituency as well as the coming to Mbooni of a number of micro-finance services.

He vows, if elected, to help physically disabled children and ensure that water and other social amenities are available in Mbooni.

Mr Munyao, 34, who moved mourners in a speech during his father’s burial about three months ago, could be the first candidate from the very populous Kisau division.

He hopes to capitalise on this numerical strength. Currently, he is the regional director of the Foundation for Youth on Development in Africa, which draws membership from 11 countries.

He is also the chairman of the Kenya Youth Education School Fund, which to date has donated more than Sh5 million to local poor students.

The hopeful says Mbooni needs youthful and pragmatic leaders who are always accessible to the electorate.

Mr Mulwa, 33, is another the young possible candidate from Tulimani location, and he is a transporter and real estate developer.

He is among a group of young leaders supporting Mr Musyoka and has in his campaigns tried to win the youthful voters.

Mrs Ngambi says male leaders have had their time and let the people down in the process.

“We have had men who appeared to be of substance before they entered Parliament, but the moment they were in that August house they closed their ears and eyes to the realities facing the people who elected them; why give them another chance; it is time for women leaders?” she says.

Former MP Fredrick Kalulu is said to be considering joining the race. And if he does, he will be the only politician in Eastern province to have contested each parliamentary election since independence.

In his hey-day, Mr Kalulu was a classy politician and once campaigned by helicopter and on horseback.

All in all, dethroning Mr Munyao may not be so easy. His name is synonymous with the Mbooni politics, and he is among President Kibaki’s pointmen in the region.

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One Response to Mbooni Constituency: Poverty the main issue as Munyao seeks another term

Anonymous said...

Awori will face the toughest battles of his lifetime, by using CDF funds to try and misuse youths, this time River Nile is flowing towards its direction. It�s time for Dr. Otuoma, Mudibo and the Ogama�s to swallow their pride and bit the bullet, that�s the only way they skin and old leopard.

Awori has no new idea nor dream for Funyula, the guy is worse than taking the legend Mohamed Ali back in the ring, you could as well have some fun despite Ali�s state.

If Samia people still want to drink showered and dirty swimming pool water in the name of tea then I refuse to be party.

You cannot teach an old dog new tricks, Awori cannot think at this age, he is only good for gracing birth day parties and new houses a status that suits him not a society full of educated people with majority in abject poverty.
I stand to be counted if am wrong, don�t blame me, I don�t vote for him

You van only leave the change you want to see�.. Kijana WA mtaa