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Kisumu youths brawl for political space


Kisumu County youths have joined the game to fight for the political space in various elective seats across the county hoping to change the political scene.


The young people are optimistic to take up leadership positions in the forthcoming August polls as they form the majority of voters in the country.


Philip Pande, a Senatorial aspirant in the County has been dealing with among others, policy issues, extra resource mobilization and Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) formulations.


Pande, 29, an entrepreneur, has played a major role in influencing the lives of the youth, women and people with disabilities not only in Kisumu county but countrywide as well.


“I’m passionate about youth leadership, inclusion, economic empowerment, devolution and grassroots development,” explained Pande.


He was part of the team that brought on board the Tugende Motorbike Company which greatly changed the lives of people in the boda boda sector. The firm established its office in Kisumu as its third centre after Kigali in Rwanda and Kampala, Uganda.


“That alone has created more than five thousand direct jobs by those who got their bikes on the pay-as-you-go platform. Over a hundred thousand people have directly earned income,” he said in regards to the initiative.


Moreover, Pande has also been the financial advisor for a Fishing for Employment project that is funded by the MasterCard Foundation and implemented by LinkMake.


“In support of LinkMake and MasterCard foundation, we have been able to identify over ninety youth and women groups. We train them on alternative production fishing methods and support enterprises along with the fishing areas. Processing, aggregating, fingerlings production among others,” he elaborated.


Thirty groups were identified and supported with start-up capital of between Sh.200, 000 to Sh 400,000 and to begin their businesses to create job opportunities.


“We have directly created jobs and impacted young people’s lives and women in Oginga Pakbuka, groups in Kusa, Nyando, Nyalenda and so forth,” he said.


The young man hopes to take on the mantle from current senator Fred Outa and battle it out successfully with senior counsel Tom Ojienda as well as nominated Senator Rose Nyamunga.


In the meantime, Julius Ondijo Owino popularly known as Maji Maji has ventured into politics seeking ODM ticket to unseat current Seme MP, Dr James Nyikal.


He says that, unlike other politicians, he will stick to his promises and ensure he fulfills his campaign manifesto to change the lives of the people.


“I’m determined to have my people live a good life. I must fulfill my promises and make my leadership count. Leadership is servanthood,” declared Ondijo.


The former hit maker who together with Gidi Gidi rocked Kenyan airwaves in the early 2000s added that he will work tirelessly to ensure the provision of good healthcare, quality education, clean water and food security.


“I am going to be on the ballot this time to bring home a leadership style, where I am your servant,” stated Ondijo.


Apart from him, Absalom Ogongo, a Bachelor of Civil and Structural Engineering graduate is also eyeing the same seat.


Ogongo, says the youth have been sidelined in the constituency affairs saying that at least 50 percent of people in his office will be youth, women and people with disabilities.


He adds that bursary distribution in the constituency has been unfair and would like to address the issue and create fairness in giving the same to the colleges, universities and high school students.


“The CDF bursary will be awarded fairly. I’ll put it that every single son or daughter of the soil will receive an award of not less than Sh.8, 000,” declared Ogongo.


He says he will address the menace of youth unemployment by initiating empowerment programs such as agribusiness, and SMEs, offering training for youths and providing grants to start their business.


Women representative positions have as well attracted a good number of youthful women aspirants who believe in their potential.


Among them is Valentine Atieno, Beatrice Atieno and Sally Okudo. They will face off ODM primaries with former Kisumu city manager Dorris Ombara, Joyce Kisia and other intellectuals.


Several other youths have joined the race for Member of County Assembly (MCA) positions with the intention of bringing a youthful leadership close to the people.


David Oneya, is eyeing Ahero Ward MCA position on DAP-K ticket saying it is time the youth revolutionized Kenyan politics.


Vincent Ochieng, an aspirant in Central Nyakach says, it is time to create change and that is only possible by bringing in new, energetic youths who have the vision to do what it takes to make the electorates enjoy the fruits of elections.


“I want to bring change. Central Nyakach is large and blessed. We need leaders who can help central thrive and here I am to do that. Very ready and willing,” cited the candidates.


With the high number of registered voters being youths, the youthful aspirants are optimistic their fellows will see their potential and leadership qualities in them hence giving them the opportunity to rise into the respective offices come August 9th.


Many youths within Kisumu County are eyeing different elective positions this electioneering season aiming to bring a new look into the county’s political sphere.






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