Taita Taveta Jubilee Party governorship candidate Dan Mwazo has said he is confident his defection from the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) will not affect his bid for the county’s top seat.
Speaking to journalists in Voi, Mr Mwazo defended his move to join the ruling coalition saying he is ready to face his opponents at the ballot.
Most of those eyeing the governor's seat are allied to the opposition National Supper Alliance (Nasa) which is perceived to be dominant in the county.
Despite murmurs of reservation regarding his decision to quit ODM, Senator Mwazo has exuded confidence that his development record as Voi MP will play a big role in his bid for the governor’s post.
He said he does not fear and will not be swayed by anyone who criticises him for ditching the opposition.
“Parties are like vehicles which are just means of transport. What is important is what you will do on reaching your destination. I am the same Mwazo who delivered many projects when I was Voi MP,” he said.
He said he had done a lot through the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) during his term as Voi MP from 2008 to 2013.
He cited the many secondary schools built across the constituency which he said are meant to encourage more pupils to transit from primary to secondary school education with ease.
He said he is still popular in the county contrary to claims that the opposition still controls majority of votes in the county.
He pledged to deliver many development projects to raise the living standards of residents, his key focus being education.
Mr Mwazo also said he will increase bursary funding from Sh50 million to Sh400 million once elected into office.
He said many parents cannot afford to take their children to school because of their inability to pay school fees especially in secondary schools and at post-secondary level.
“My government will be keen to improve the county’s education and that is why we want many children to benefit from the bursary kitty.
“I want to transform this county from what it used to be to what it should be. I also want to restore the lost glory of our past performances in national examinations,” he said.
The governor hopeful said he will also focus on development projects meant to improve income for the residents.
He said his county government will set aside a Sh200 million revolving fund for women and youth to empower them economically and boost their self-esteem.
He said many youth and women are complaining of unemployment because they do not have funds to start their own businesses.
“Our people have low self-esteem because they are jobless. I will ensure that they are empowered economically for them to be able cater for their families,” he said.