Entertainment / Celebrities
Saturday, 07 Jan 2017 12:27 EATrosemukonyo@yahoo.com
The battle for the Ndalani Ward in Machakos County is intensifying by the day as enter the race to unseat the incumbent Stephen Muthuka. An independent candidate, Stanslaus Kasuva Nzuki, 31, has sent shockwaves in the race through a campaign that has brought to the forefront the failures of the region’s current leadership. Mr Nzuki, an auditor by profession, is making his maiden entry into politics but has gained traction with potential voters owing to his well-recognised developmental initiatives in the area over the years.
The aspirant is focused on eradicating challenges Ndalani residents have faced year in year out, key among them the poor roads, despite the increasing decentralization of development funds. He alleges the current leadership has been unable to address the poor state of due to poor planning. Some of these roads are from Sofia through Kisiiki to Ndalani, as well as from Kisiiki through Matangini to Kiwanzani and from Ndalani all the way to Kivingoni.
He promises to transform the decision-making process in the area and ensure the prioritization of projects with a huge impact of the people’s lives. By partnering with the relevant agencies such as county government, Mr Nzuki says he will ensure these roads are repaired, opening up the highly productive area to more investors hence improving the economic state of Ndalani Ward. “This is an area where sand is harvested on a daily basis. The companies harvesting the sand have a stake in the roads being well maintained and so I will partner with the drivers to help in transporting murram instead of paying entrance to the local councils,” he says.
Ndalani is generally a dry area but has seasonal rivers, meaning that during the dry season residents have to travel long distances in search of water. This has been a big challenge especially to older women who have to fend for themselves and grandchildren under their care. Reports have emerged that girls and women have been raped as they travel either vey early in the morning or very late in the evening in search of water.
Using his experience in water CBOs, the aspirant plans to mobilize residents to form water CBOs then work with the county government to drill boreholes across the area and dam the rivers so the water can be piped to surrounding areas. “Muti River can be used to start a mini dam for livestock and farm use,” he said, pointing to one of the largest local rivers.
Another challenge is in the education sector where children from poor backgrounds face difficulties in search of education. Most opt to drop out of school due to lack of school fees to get casual jobs to cater for their families. Mr Nzuki has sponsored some children from Ndalani and ensuring they achieve their dreams, a programme he wants to expand with county government funding.
Another concept he is keen on involves working with the elites from the area to come together and form a caucus to educate the needy students by starting an education fund. “I urge all the people from Ndalani who have the heart to help to come together and help eradicate poverty in the area by educating more students,” he said.
Some of the needy people he has singled out are children from single families, orphans and those living with HIV/AIDS. He plans to empower single parents and other residents to provide for their families and support themselves by creating jobs in the area rather than giving them money.
Table banking will make a great impact in this area as many women are already members of merry-go-round groups which normally contribute little money. “What these women groups need is small contribution to kick start their table banking, so I ask the well-wishers to partner with me so that these table banks can be up and running,” Mr Nzuki has said.
The school infrastructure also will get his immediate attention as most schools are in poor conditions. He made shocking revelation that in this current age and time some schools study under trees due to lack of classes. He plans to work with the CDF to ensure schools get classes and other infrastructure like Laboratories. “I believe in empowering the community to bring improvement to this community, it doesn’t have to be money given to the people but the residents can contribute towards their welfare,” he says.
Youth unemployment has been a great challenge, and the aspirant has been nurturing youth talent by sponsoring some of the artists in the area. He plans to support youth and create job opportunities which will keep the youth occupied. He urges the youth to be aggressive in looking for jobs but not rely on handout from politicians.
Mr Nzuki has the intention of working with his community to improve the livelihoods of the residents. It will be a tough journey in his attempt to seat the incumbent but he is determined to bring a difference in the area. Others in the race for Ndalani Ward are Joshua Nzuki (Mkenya) and Carol Kilonzo alongside the incumbent Stephen Muthuka.
Rose is a contributing writer for the Kenya Free Press, based in Machakos County.