Only female candidate in Kaloleni MP race speaks

Saturday July 22 2017

Patience Chome, the only female candidate for

Patience Chome, the only female candidate for the Kaloleni Parliamentary race. PHOTO | KAZUNGU SAMUEL | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

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Patience Chome is seeking to make history in Kaloleni, Kilifi County, by becoming the first woman from the region to be elected into Parliament.

Ms Chome, who is running on a Kadu Asili ticket is the only female in the race which has attracted 11 candidates.

A holder of a degree in commerce from the University of Nairobi, Ms Chome says she will on August 8 prove to her rivals that she has what it takes, including support from voters, to win the seat.

In an interview with the Nation, Ms Chome,  said she was optimistic of defeating the 10 men in the race.

“I have what it takes to win the seat. I have done a marathon campaign, talked to my supporters and my record on developing Kaloleni speaks for itself,” she said.

Other candidates in the race include the incumbent Gunga Mwinga who was elected on a Kadu Asili ticket in 2013 but will be seeking re-election on a Devolution Party of Kenya (DPK) - which he founded.

Others are Paul Katana (ODM), Kitsao Ngowa (Jubilee Party), Stephen Gharama (Shirikisho), Fahad Matano (Maendeleo Chap Chap), Edward Saro, Katana Kazungu ,Harry Vidzo, Charo Dena and Martin Rimba, all running as independents.

Ms Chome says her determination to win the seat has seen her wade through various challenges but stood firm to make sure the message she has for the Kaloleni electorate resonates well with them.

“After announcing my candidature for the seat, I was bashed from  everywhere,  including at social places in Kaloleni and even in social media. Some people talked ill of me and openly stated that I would not go anywhere because there are male candidates who have the muscle to win. I told them off, because I have the support on the ground that will enable me win,” she said.

In 2013, she vied for the Senate seat but lost to incumbent Stewart Madzayo, but she says this time, she will prove wrong, those claiming that the seat is a preserve of men.

“It is painful sometimes to hear such sentiments but I have learnt to live with these challenges. A strong woman needs courage and manage to sail through them,” she said.

Ms Chome further says she has encountered other hurdles including the lack of finance to enable her conduct her campaigns without hitches, but she is banking on the goodwill of her supporters and the people of Kaloleni in general for her win.

“When I announced my decision to go for the Kaloleni seat, I was summoned twice to shelve my ambitions because there was a man and stronger candidate who would easily win because he was financially fit, she says.

"Let me tell my opponents that what makes one to win is the goodwill of the people and not money or gender. You can have the money and splash it like never seen before. But when that time comes, you will be shocked by the results,” she said.

Kaloleni has a population of 139,302 according to the 2009 census with Mariakani leading the other three wards with 43,199 people. The other wards are Kaloleni, Mwanamwinga, and Kayafungo.

Ms Chome's entry into the race is increasing the number of women in Kilifi county who are joining active politics and engaging men in what was always believed to be a male dominated affair only. In Rabai constituency, Esther Kondo and Emma Mbura are also in the race to oust incumbent William Kamoti.

In Malindi constituency, Aisha Jumwa is battling for the seat currently held by William Mtengo, while in Kilifi North constituency Esther Kache is also seeking to win the seat currently held by Gideon Mung’aro who is vying for the Kilifi gubernatorial seat.