Turkana Central Constituency: The learned tigers to fight it out in remote and poor area

Though the remote larger Turkana is associated with the unschooled, candidates who have emerged in Turkana Central constituency to challenge the incumbent, Mr Ekwe Ethuro, are all people of letters.

They are a youthful crop of politicians seeking to unseat Mr Ethuro, who are also well read.

But Mr Ethuro will have to fight hard to recapture the seat.

He will face seven candidates who have so far declared interest and include his bitter rival Immanuel Imana, a former MP seeking to vie on ODM Kenya ticket.

Shifted base

Others are: Dr Philip Ejikon on Narc-K, Mr Pius Ewoton on KADDU, Mr Simon Ekai also on ODM-K, Mr Christopher Ebenyo a former Turkana North MP who has shifted his base to Central and Dr Thomas Akuja.

The last two have not identified the parties they will run on.

Lodwar Town, with a population of more than 20,000 residents, is the headquarters for Turkana Central which is the smallest in geographical size compared to the other two constituencies.

Residents mainly depend on relief supplies from the Government and humanitarian organisations which operate in the area.

The major economic activity for the locals is making baskets.

The majority of the locals live in abject poverty and are threatened by starvation due to persistent drought which has been ravaging the area in the past years.

The area has very poor roads, is known for insecurity and high level of illiteracy.

The Kitale-Lodwar road, which is about 350 km, links Kenya to Southern Sudan. The road has been neglected in recent years and has huge potholes yet it is one of the busy roads in the country.

Vehicles transporting relief food to the region including to Southern Sudan ply the road on daily basis but due to its disrepair status, it takes several hours to deliver goods to destinations.

The three Turkana constituencies, whose size is equivalent to Western and Nyanza provinces combined, have just about half a million people.

Turkana Central is said to be underdeveloped and even the CDF kitty has not done much to improve lives of the people.

More than 70,000 children of school going age are out of class.

The high illiteracy level could feature as one of the biggest issues in the campaigns.

Mr Ethuro is expected to defend the seat on a Ford Kenya ticket though he is yet to confirm.

Ford-K and ODM-K are the rival parties in the constituency with almost equal support.

Mr Ethuro would have to work hard to win the votes in his stronghold Kalokol division where he was born.

The incumbent will be fighting against two other candidates from the same area – Dr Ejikon and Mr Ekai – who could cause an upset.

Lodwar Town, Loima, Turkwel and part of Kerio division are ODM-K zones which are turning out to root for Mr Imana.

Mr Ethuro believes he has a strong backing especially in Lodwar and Kalokol where he has concentrated CDF projects.

In Kalokol, the CDF has funded the construction of Moi High School and also given Lodwar Municipal Council Sh1.5 to construct public toilets in Lodwar Town for free use by the public.

Priority projects

However, the usage of the CDF money has been criticised by the constituents who argue the funds were not being utilised on priority projects.

Mr Imana is the former Kerio Valley Development Authority managing director. But he will have to contest for ODM nomination with Mr Ekai.

Mr Imana has a pending petition in court challenging the 2002 election of Mr Ethuro.

He is promising to improve education, promote development projects and fight cattle rustling through peace meetings with the Pokot and the neighbouring Karamojong from Uganda.

Dr Ejikon, who is medical doctor, has some backing from Kalokol and Lodwar.

Mr Ekai, the youngest politician is a graduate from Egerton University with a bachelor degree in Business Administration. He has to win the ODM-K nominations to enter the race.

Mr Ekai is ODM-K youth secretary who has vowed to support Mr Imana if he loses to him during the party nominations.

Dr Ejikon had petitioned the Narc-K headquarters to call off the recent grassroots nominations saying it was marred with irregularity.

Dr Akuja is a senior lecturer at Egerton University and has not decided on which party he will vie. He says, once elected, he will promote livestock production in the region by opening up links with other countries for export.

Mr Ewoton, who wants to contest the seat on Mr Cyrus Jirongo’s KADDU is a graduate from the University of Nairobi.

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One Response to Turkana Central Constituency: The learned tigers to fight it out in remote and poor area

Etelej said...

Though an old post, its quite insightful. However, all those learned people you did research, you should have checked about Ekwe Ethuro's intellect as well. The man is in the BETTER half of the most learned of his colleague Ministers in the August House.