Is She the Savior that Kakamega County needs? The voters will give the verdict.
Posted by African Press International on October 26, 2016
By Dickens Wasonga.
She’s still very bitter with the IEBC even as the commissioners prepare to exit .
She believe the electoral body connived with her opponents to deny her the Constitutional right to be the first woman Governor for Kakamega.
Meet Mabel Muruli,a real estate Mogul based in London whose name was controversially omitted by IEBC in 2013 but still believe she’s the magic the county needs to turn around.
She’s a fighter. Even with frustrations in the last polls,she never gave up the fight. She moved to court and got compelling orders to have her name in the ballot. This never happened and her supporters were disappointed. But she’s in the race again.
This time even more determined to clinch the seat currently held by Hon Wycliffe Oparanya.
And her entry into the gubernatorial race is causing ripples. So far Dr Bonnie Khalwale of the bull fights fame is also said to be eying the seat.
But the immigration law expert says she’s not scared of her male opponents. Even the issue of the party to run on doesn’t bother her ,she says.
" my support base is intact. They are with me and the party as a vehicle doesn’t worry me and them" she declared.
Her focus ,she says is to ensure the problems afflicting the people in the county is fixed and fixed by her.
Why is she all confident?
" I have been in business. I have worked internationally. I have the network. All I need is to use these links and build the county. I will be done." Said Muruli.
What areas would she start with?
The Health sector is in a mess in the area according to her. Patients go without drugs, and they are forced to buy what they need from private chemists at exorbitant prices which they can hardly afford.
Nurses and doctors are not properly remunerated and alot of valuable time is wasted when they go on strike to press for better pay at the expense of the sick. This must be her top priority.
She says she’s been to several schools, most of them in very deplorable condition. And this shouldn’t be the case if education was given its fair share of allocations to improve the infrastructure.
Muruli who won a huge contract in the UK to house over 40,000 asylum seekers in 2010 after beating several UK firms says her heart bleeds for the poor.
" currently am buying uniforms for children in the county who are too poor to afford the same. We’re also engaged in helping to reconstruct classes and also help in church construction " she said.
This would not be happening if public funds were used to do projects as it should be.
" As a County government, you must first get your priority right. And accountability must be the driving force when doing projects identified. " she adds.
She is also investing on women. Using her international network, shes broght in friends who are training women in various income generating activities such as wedding decorations, stitching clothes cookery and baking skills etc.
Kakamega has a huge tourism potential which she believe the county government has failed to fully exploit.
" we have rich forest cover with trees and animals which would be attractive to tourists. If well marketed and preserved the forests alone could earn the county millions of shillings and provide jobs to so many youths who are currently jobless " she points out.
Her ambition is to establish a research center at Kakamega forest to help nurture the flora and fauna found in this coveted forest.
And to create jobs to the locals she plans to use her international links to woe investors into the county.
" We can encourage investors to establish industries here. I have my focus to ensure we have atleast two or three industries in each constituency. We can have motorcycles manufacturers in Kakamega. Maize milling firms and we also revive the now collapsing sugar industries through prudent management " said Muruli.
To revive the sugar sub sector and make industries like mumias viable again, she says farmers must be paid well and on time.
This will motivate many of them to continue growing the crop.
Corruption at the management level should be addressed and those found culpable must account for their actions.
Cane poaching must also be stopped and each sugar Miller encouraged to establish it’s cane growing area and contract farmers and not be allowed to encroach into the territory of others.
" corruption must not be seen to be rewarding. It must seize to be a way of life which is acceptable. But we must first see how to empower our people to grow wealth. When people are working or are doing business and they have income, chances of getting involved in graft is greatly reduced. " she said.
And she encourages more women to venture into elective politics.
" Dont be afraid. Let those bullies who use violence to intimidate you not scare you."
Violence has in the past been used to stop some candidates from contesting and women finds themselves more vulnerable to such attacks .
" Am not scared of the male opponents who sometimes visit violence on us because of our gender . we must also fight the notion that a woman’s place is in the kitchen. The world is embracing women leaders and we can’t afford to lag behind. However we must not wait to be given power ,we must fight for it " added Muruli.
The graduate of Brunei University believe shes the magic that Kakamega needs to be transformed .
" we need a properly planned town ,with a street for hotels and restaurants, shopping malls and an industrial area. This is lacking currently. Can u believe that Kakamega doesn’t have a serious hotel that can accommodate high level meetings and relys on Kisumu for such conferences ? This has to change." She noted
She said it was a pity that so many people are poor and those in office continue to use state resources for their own benefit.
She called for lifestyle audit for the current leadership at the county starting with the Governor.
" You can’t be leading life of opulence and people are hungry and can’t afford basic things in life and you feel nothing. This is not only criminal, it is immoral too. Some even now have choppers while the salary they earn can’t enable them buy such things. " said Muruli.
As the interview comes to a close at a Kisumu hotel, Muruli demonstrate one thing, that it is not if she wins but only when . Her confidence is real as ever and she make this writer know that she never loses what she sets her eyes on.
African Press International (API)