August 21st 2017

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Wives of Nyanza, Western governors hit campaign trail for husbands

The Chairperson of the organization that comprises of ten counties said she is not worried of political affiliation of the governors as long as women interests are well taken care of. Her husband, Kenneth Lusaka, is seeking re-election on Jubilee Party ticket while the rest of the governors are in O

By Samuel OwidaMonday, 10 Apr 2017 15:00 EAT

Wives of Governors from Nyanza and Western counties are out to drum up support for re-election of their spouses in the forthcoming general elections. The women are using Western and Nyanza First Ladies Organization as a campaign platform to seek the re-election of the sitting governors.

In what seems to be a campaign strategy, the first ladies are now taking advantage of their good relations with women in their respective counties to woo support for their husbands. Over the weekend, Governor Cyprian Awiti’s wife Rosila Awiti hosted the women led by the Forum Chairperson Margaret Lusaka of Bungoma, Priscilla Oparanya of Kakamega, Rosella Rasanga of Siaya and Homa Bay Deputy Governor’s wife Seline Orata at Alaw Rachuonyo grounds in Kendu Bay town, Karachunyo constituency.

Addressing 20 different women groups from the county, the first ladies pleaded with locals to re-elect their husbands for a second term to complete some of the projects they initiated as they do their last term. “We’ve been in these seats for a short time and you have seen the fruits of devolution. I request you to re-elect Governor Awiti so that Rosila can as well continue serving you,” Mrs Lusaka said amid cheers from the crowd.

The Bungoma first lady said her organisation will use the forum to ensure incumbent governors in western Kenya are re-elected. She expressed fears that failure by electorates to re-elect the outgoing governors in the region might thwart development agenda they have for women in the region.

The Chairperson of the organization that comprises of ten counties said she is not worried of political affiliation of the governors as long as women interests are well taken care of. Her husband, Kenneth Lusaka, is seeking re-election on Jubilee Party ticket while the rest of the governors are in ODM. "I know that my husband is in Jubilee and others are in opposition parties, but our objective as a forum is to foster development among women regardless of our political party affiliation,” she added.

Mrs Awiti and Mrs Oparanya observed that re-election of their spouses will strengthen the forum for economic prosperity of women. They appealed to women as the majority voters hence to take advantage of their numerical strength as weapons to re-elect the incumbent Governors as a means of safeguarding the gains made so far noting that they have achieved certain milestones in a short period of time.

“We’re sure that working together under this organization will enable us create formidable force in the re-election agenda,” Mrs Oparanya said. Mrs Awiti expressed confidence that their husbands have performed satisfactorily to the electorates and they needed another chance to accomplished their missions and visions.

“The song of Awiti Tena (re-elect Awiti) should be a priority to us to enable me retains my position. We’re spreading a similar message to other counties so that their respective Governors are re-elected,” she said. Former Karachuonyo MP and gender equity crusader Phoebe Asiyo who spoke at the meeting supported the idea, saying that the governors deserved a second term to complete projects they have initiated.

The writer is a contributing reporter for the Kenya Free Press based in Homa Bay County





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