Turkana South Constituency: Candidate with security solution will carry the day

Mr Francis Ewaton Achuka, the MP for Turkana South, has held the seat since he won it in the 1992 General Election.

And though he has 10 other candidates going for his seat, Mr Ewaton is still a strong candidate. But his critics accuse him of bias in initiating development and want a change in leadership.

The MP is facing opposition from his Lokichar backyard. Even his former chief campaigner Charles Lochodo, is going for the seat. Lochodo, 34, works with a non-governmental organisation in Southern Sudan.

Others eyeing the seat are: Josephat Nanok, Mr Daudi Ekuam, Ms Beatrice Asikul and Mr Joshua Angelei. Mr Lotulia Nameyan, Mr Joseph Aleper, Mr Samuel Kaaling and Mr Nicholas Ngikor are also in the race.

Mr Ewaton has initiated many projects in his constituency but his critics accuse him of favouring Lokichar.

The MP has spearheaded the building of schools and dispensaries using the Constituencies Development Fund (CDF) money, something that has made him popular.

The schools include Uhuru High school in Lokichar, and Kainuk and Kapedo mixed secondary schools. Kapedo is incomplete. He has also overseen the building of a dispensary at Kaptir.

Mr Ewaton has also been accused of bias in distribution of relief food, with his accusers saying Lokichar gets the lion’s share.

A Kanu loyalist, he wants the party, whose partnership in ODM-K is yet to be resolved, to streamline the leadership and end wrangles. Although Kanu has been the dominant party in the constituency, ODM Kenya has been making inroads since the 2005 referendum, in which majority of the residents voted against the proposed new constitution, thus supporting the Orange side.

Mr Lochodo has come out openly in praise of President Kibaki’s leadership style. His party is Narc Kenya. He is happy about the increased enrolment in tertiary institutions and public universities, free primary education and the growth in the economy.

Turkana South has two major clans – Ngisonyoka, which is the majority, and the Ngibilae the minority. Insecurity is likely to dominate the campaign agenda as areas such as Kainuk, Lorogon, Loyapat, Katilu, Amolem, Lomelo, Lochwakula, Kapeddo, Lokwamosing, Lokori are being deserted because of security threats. Other issues that will take centre stage during the campaigns are roads and literacy levels.

Mr Ekuam, 47, is a former district commissioner now working as a an advisor on peace building and conflict transformation with the Centre for Minority Rights Development (Cemiride). He thinks he is best placed to deal with the security problem.

Mr Ekuam promotes pastoralism as the most viable economic activity in the area. He is opposed to efforts aimed at turning herders into crop farmers, saying a lot of resources have been wasted on farming projects that are not viable.

Mr Nanok, who works with the World Food Programme (WFP) in Sudan, has kept Mr Ewaton on his toes. He is contesting on an ODM-K ticket and draws his strength from Lokori Division, where the sitting MP has less support. But he has to battle for the ODM-K nomination with the only female aspirant, Ms Asikul.

Mr Nanok is nicknamed Mr Nokia because he has bought Nokia mobile phones for herdsmen as part of a plan to fight insecurity. The phones help villagers to report attacks to the security agents. The plan seems to be working.

Mr Angelei who comes from Lokichar, has support Katilu and Kainuk, just as Mr Ewaton. Although he has not confirmed the party whose ticket he will seek, he is one of the aspirants to watch. His supporters want him to go to ODM-K but he is yet to decide.

Mr Angelei has a bachelor’s degree in administration and is currently enrolled as a law student at the University of Nairobi. He is an investment promoter. His agenda is to promote security and education, and lobby for the empowerment of youth and women through funding.

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One Response to Turkana South Constituency: Candidate with security solution will carry the day

Anonymous said...

I was recently in South Turkana Kapedo, and I strongly believe that the aspirants should not use the issue of insecurity to gain political mileage then after getting to the power they forget about Turkana.
Insecurity has literally crippled any sustainable activities in this region.Am wondering how the aspriants are planning to bring sanity in the area.Cease fire is a two way and unless the two communities at war(Pokot and Turkana) come to an agreement, any efforts which are one sided will bear no fruits.Buying Nokia Phones is a solution, yes, a superficial one which is not sustainable at the long run, so is distribution of guns to retired officers to keep vigil.Why dont we go to the root of the problem?The fight for economic supremacy between the two communities, how can that be tackled? then after that lets see if there will be any insecurity to talk about.