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Sunday, 26 Mar 2017 14:06 EATnewsdesk@kenyafreepress.com
A Migori County executive committee member has rolled out campaigns for the Kuria East parliamentary seat. The executive committee member in charge of Trade and Tourism, Mr Maneno Mwikwabe, is contesting the seat that was created in 2012 following the split of the larger Kuria constituency into two - East and West.
The incumbent MP Eng. Shadrack Manga, a member of the Jubilee Coalition, is retiring from politics due to advanced age and ill health. The MP has endorsed Mr Maisori Gitayama, a director with the Kenya Pipeline Company who is a son of former Kuria MP Maisori Tumbo to replace him through the Jubilee Party ticket.
Mr Gitayama also contested the seat in 2013 but lost to Mr Manga and is currently seen as the front-runner for Jubilee Party nomination following Mr Manga's endorsement. Another Jubilee-allied politician, Benson Nyaichoro Maisori, is running on a Kanu ticket and is yet to declare the person he would support for president.
Mr Maneno has served as a county executive in Migori since the advent of devolution in 2013. He was one of two professionals from the minority Kuria tribe appointed by Governor Okoth Obado to the county cabinet, the other being Ms Sheila Ghati from Kuria West who was appointed to Public Service Management docket.
During his stint in education, he saw the establishment of several ECD schools in Kuria and the larger Migori and developed a good relationship with teachers. He also pressed for more effective devolution of education services, in particular primary and secondary school education which remain at the national government.
Later following the reshuffle to the tourism docket, he has handled investment promotion for the local hotel industry, marketing Migori hotels to the outside visitors. He is deemed to be one of the most loyal executives to Governor Obado and had a rpport with most members of the county assembly.
A nationally recognised journalist, Mr Maneno was educated at Moi University in Eldoret, where he served as the Secretary General of the Moi University Students Organization and editor of 'The Illuminator', the student publication. Upon graduation, he became a leading journalist in Kenya from the early to late 1990s when he joined the alternative press, where he ran his own publication, the Weekly Dispatch.
In 2012, he had launched an unsuccessful campaign for the Migori senate seat, which in the spirit of power-sharing had been reserved to the Kuria tribe. He ended up contesting the Kuria East seat on a PICK ticket, coming He was appointed to the Migori county cabinet after the election. He is running on the ODM ticket, and Lucas Mosenda is seen as his main opponent.