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Friday, 12 May 2017 16:54 EATabdirahmancajab@gmail.com
One of the most vocal members of the Wajir County Assembly, elected on the Jubilee Party, is heading into the re-election campaign confident that his voters will give him a second chance based on his efforts to improve governance in the region.
Despite his region being perceived as an opposition zone, Mr Abdirashid Jimale Salat, the only Jubilee member from Wajir West who is currently the minority leader of the assembly, expects to excel in the race that pits him against opposition candidates.
Variously referred to by admirers as the Midiwo or Khalwale of Wajir, Mr Salat of Arbajahan Ward is among the top debaters in the assembly. He’s known for scrutinizing bills introduced in the assembly and playing oversight role as a team leader to represent the local opposition and act as the main spokesman for the minority team in the ODM-dominated house.
The MCA is reputed to be the gauge of the house, whose moods he moves with his sometimes fiery and other times hilarious speeches. The house without him is always uninteresting, with many MCAs known to ask, ‘Where is Mheshimiwa Abdirashid?’
Educated at Garisa Primary School and Garisa High School, Mr Salat studied Diploma in Public Relations and a degree of Bachelors of Development Studies from Mount Kenya University. He has dedicated most of his work life to business and communal services, and hence joining politics in 2013 was like a natural culmination of his life-long path.
The MCA speaks proudly of his achievements of the last five years that he has represented the Arbajahan ward, among them being the establishment of water dams and boreholes with support from the county and national governments.
The boreholes who construction he championed are Qara, lanqorod and Arbajahan. In Griftu, the MCA led the drilling of three boreholes – each one funded by the national government, county government and Islamic Relief Organization. He is also proud of the Qara irrigation from National Irrigation Board, a national government project.
On educational development, he oversaw construction of ECD centers at Griftu, Matho, Adancawale, Gareseqoftu, Arbajahan, Qara and Bula Hagar. ECDE is a county government function under the new constitution. He has also supported orphaned children and needy students through school through personal initiative.
Another sector he touched is health, whereby he oversaw the upgrade of Arbajahan dispensary to sub-district hospital which have maternity wing, laboratory service, nutrition service and operational 24 hours with qualified personnel. More new dispensaries have been built during his tenure such as Adancawale, Gubeysur, Qara and Baji.
The roads too have been upgraded under his watch, including the Griftu- Arbajahan road which was succefully gravelled by Wajir county government. Bush clearing for all roads that is within Arbajahan ward, Griftu to Matho has been murramed. More bridges and culverts for surface flow during flooding periods.
Being a member of Budget Committee and leader of minority, Mr Salat said he always scrutinized budget making process for the public interest. He’s also a member of Wajir County Assembly Service Board where he advocates for the staff.
On party issues, Mr Salat said he is the Jubilee pointman in Wajir West, which many consider a NASA zone. He said this is the second time he is standing for election in President Uhuru Kenyatta’s party and he hopes to trounce his opponents.
“I support President Uhuru Kenyatta's re-election based on his development track record in northern Kenya.” On the governorship, he said he supports Ambassador Mohamed Abdi, also the Jubilee candidate, since he believes Mr Abdi would be more accountable to the people.
At the end of the interview, Mr Salat said his prayer is for the people of Arbajahan Ward to re-elect him.
Abdirahman Rashid Farah is a contributing reporter for the Kenya Free Press based in Wajir County