November 24th 2017

Top Stories / Counties

Kitui Gubernatorial candidates in a face-off on Live Radio debate

The governor could not justify his argument that, he was able to ensure that 65 per cent of Kitui residents have access to clean water and contradicted himself when he talked of a strategic plan being implemented

By Free Press Reporternewsdesk@kenyafreepress.comMonday, 19 Jun 2017 12:05 EAT

Three Kitui gubernatorial candidates; Charity Kaluki Ngilu (right), incumbent Dr Julius Malombe (centre) and David Musila (left) being hosted by Salim Swaleh of Radio Citizen.

The three Kitui gubernatorial candidates yesterday evening came face-to-face in a Live Radio Citizen debate to propagate their manifestoes as hundreds of County residents listened in. Senator David Musila, former Lands CS Charity Kaluki Ngilu and the incumbent Dr Julius Malombe sparred with each other for close to two hours in the radio show which was also aired by Musyi FM. Radio Citizen and Musyi FM are run under Royal Media Services owned by Media mogul S.K Macharia.

Dr Malombe was hard pressed to justify development projects his administration has initiated in the last four years and carried the tag “Planning without Implementation” when he talked of a strategic plan to address the water shortage in the County.

The governor could not justify his argument that, he was able to ensure that 65 per cent of Kitui residents have access to clean water and contradicted himself when he talked of the strategic plan being implemented.

“I have toured Kitui South Mutha and Kanziiku areas and there is no water. Kitui East all the way from Mutito, Mwitika, Kyamatu, Voo and Endau women walk over 20KMs in search of water. School children are forced out of school to fetch water for their parents and water their livestock. The situation in the larger Mwingi is worse, people are dying of thirst in this County. It is sad that Malombe can come here to lie on a national media house” argued Musila.

Malombe was also on the receiving end from Musila and Ngilu when he said the County government was offering bursary to secondary and university students, while hundreds had dropped out of schools and colleges due to their inability to pay fees.

“During my tenure as Mwingi South MP I put up 42 new secondary schools and I am now paying fees for 51 University students from my own resources. Can you (Malombe) give a figure of the bursary disbursement after all this is money from the tax payers”, said an agitated Musila.

Ngilu also demanded an explanation from the Governor as she concurred with Musila over County government’s failure to address problems dear to the residents including water, education and health care.

Malombe denied that his wife had taken over the role of the Deputy governor saying that she runs Kyeni Foundation which was supplying shoes among other things to the youth. Deputy Governor Penninah Malonza who ditched Malombe and joined Musila’s team is his running mate complained that the governor’s wife had taken over her responsibilities.

Musila who didn’t have kind words for the governor also accused him of employing his cronies drawn from his Kyangwithya backyard within Kitui Central sub county and listed the 11 top positions while ignoring people from the other seven sub counties.  

Asked to outline his achievements, Malombe quickly stated that his government had done over 5,000 projects, but angered the listeners when he claimed 120 projects are distributed in every ward and 20 in every Village of Kitui County, which is not true.

The perennial water shortages in the County saw Ngilu put to task as residents demanded an explanation over the stalled Umaa dam which was meant to supply water to Kitui town, the County Headquarters and its environs.

Ngilu cited her achievements as Minister for Water, naming water projects she initiated countrywide, but could not explain why Umaa dam project stalled.

“How could you complete dams in other areas and fail to prioritize the dam at your home? Why does it always have to be you when the matter of corruption comes out in this country. The ministry of water, ministry of health and now the Ministry of Lands?”  Musila interjected as Ngilu tried to defend herself.

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