30 hopefuls seek Jubilee ticket in hotly contested bid for most populous ward

COUNTY POLITICS: Huruma ward MCA to face 29 hopefuls for Jubilee nod

According to Mr Chomba, Huruma ward has the most public utilities in the county.

A ward in Uasin Gishu County has attracted at least 30 aspirants making it one of the most hotly-contested seat in the region.

Huruma ward has always been bitterly contested but this time round, the battle for the seat, currently held by Mr Peter Chomba, promises more drama.

Huruma is one of the most populous wards in Turbo constituency, with at least 38,000 registered voters.

Interestingly, all the 30 aspirants are seeking the Jubilee Party nod to contest the seat in the election slated for August 8.

In an interview with the Saturday Nation, Mr Chomba welcomed the aspirants, most of whom have already hit the campaign trail, but promised to give them a run for their money.

During the last General Election, Mr Chomba won the seat on a United Republican Party ticket garnering 19,995 votes.

Despite expressing surprise at the number of candidates seeking to oust him, he said he was confident that he will not only trounce them in the nominations but will also emerge victorious during the election.

"In 2008, there were 19 aspirants, the number increased to 24 in 2012. This time around, we are at least 30,” he said.

He claimed seven out of those seeking to unseat him had been sponsored by a powerful politician from the county.

“This is just a ploy to block me from contesting the seat,” said the member of county assembly who joined active politics in 2008 after being elected councillor of Shauri ward.

However, a number of aspirants interviewed denied the allegations and, instead, urged Mr Chomba to prepare for a fierce duel.

According to Mr Chomba, Huruma ward has the most public utilities in the county. This, he said, contributed greatly to the county’s revenue.

“Eighty-five per cent of Eldoret Town is part of Huruma ward. This includes all markets and public transport termini. For one to win in this ward, he/she must convince all the communities that live here,” he said.

Despite his numerous achievements, the area still lacks many essentials, said the MCA.

“Our main challenge still remains the shortage of water. My area at times goes without water even for a month, yet other regions never run out of the commodity,” he said.

However, Mr Samson Mugo, who is also eyeing the seat, said if elected, he will resolve the water issue once and for all.

“I can assure residents that water shortages will be a thing of the past,” he said.

“I will remove all the old pipes and replace them with new ones. We will also use the Sh6 million allocated to wards by the county government to dig boreholes and buy water storage tanks.”

Mr Josephat Wanjohi, another aspirant, said his priority will be to address the plight of small scale businessmen.

“These people have numerous challenges ranging from insecurity, water and poor roads,” said Mr Wanjohi, the patron of the Uasin Gishu Hawkers Association.

He said he had constructed several sheds for boda boda riders and also drilled boreholes for residents of Shauri in the ward.

“This is only the beginning. I have lined up several other projects, which will be implemented once I move into office,” he adds.

Ms Martha Kamau said she chose to vie for the seat because the ward had never been represented by a woman.

According to Ms Kamau, women are better leaders.

Other candidates eyeing the seat include Kimani Wanjohi, Sammy Mbugua, Abdikar Limo, Samuel Kinyanjui, Peter Mwangi, Zachary Githaiga, Alex Mburu among others.

“As a woman, I will be able to reach out to every resident despite the fact that Huruma is the most populated ward in the country,” said Ms Kamau, adding that bursary disbursement in the county had not been fair to the beneficiaries.

She added: “Our youths need to be supported. We have so many educated youths but they lack employment.”