By Isabella Maua
As Bungoma by-elections draw closer, it is with no doubt the rope is getting tighter for the 9 aspirants who are eyeing to replace Moses Wetangula.
Former Senator Wetangula who is now third in command and Speaker for National Assembly has left a gap which has attracted many youth politicians in what seems to be a contest between party heavy weights in the Kenya Kwanza dominated region.
With only 3 vying for the seat as independent candidates, stands out a young vibrant soul fully braced to capture the much coveted seat in the history of Bungoma tyranny of politics, Enoch Opara Makokha.
Makokha was born and bred in Kanduyi constituency, East Sang’alo Sub County and the dire state of the people of Bungoma especially those living in the remotest areas has been the force behind his aspiration to replace Wetangula.
Makokha who describes himself as a well learned fellow and CEO with a vast experience in various businesses ranging from Petroleum, Aviation and Hospitality also boasts of over 15 years in the business world.
In an exclusive interview with The Times Newspaper, Makokha categorically stated that improving healthcare and the living standards of Bungoma residents is top in his manifesto.
“I’m very touched when I see our mothers and even children losing lives because of either lack of or deficit of ambulances to cater for emergency situations; another sad scenario is where you find people still living in grass thatched homes in this century,” Makokha decried.
It is with regard to these that he pledges to donate 9 ambulances to all the Sub Counties within the County and also ensure any household sheltering in a grass thatched building will receive 20 iron roofing sheets.
“Unemployment rate especially for the youth is an undebatable pain in the neck and as such I will take up the challenge of creating 100 positions for youth jobs in the first 100 days in office,” he emphatically stated.
For the education sector which is getting expensive by day with many households not able to fully cater for this basic need, Makokha has pledged to offer 3 scholarships in every Sub County each catering for 2 needy students. Besides, he is determined to work closely with women by empowering them through daily ‘Mary Go Rounds.’
He further divulged that he could not fold his hands and see people fighting for party politics whereas he could independent mindedly change the whole narrative in collaboration with other able leaders who were previously elected for their manifesto and proven records.
“Many politicians have been elected before and once they get to office they totally forget their electorates, I want to be an oversight and ensure equitable distribution of resources and funds unlike the previous regime,” the soft spoken business enthusiast asserted.
Makokha also declared his devotion to people living in the most remote areas of the County sighting that they have long been neglected by the previous administration.
“An example of neglected and long forgotten areas with no stable electricity nor good roads include but are not limited to East-West Sang’alo, East-South Webuye, Sitokho-Mwibale and parts of Mt. Elgon region, which I’ll insure its development as priority in my government,” he reiterated.
Regarding the land gazettment issue which has brought a lot of debate to communities living in Mt. Elgon especially the Ndorobo who mostly occupy the forest areas, Makokha promised to consult president Ruto and other stakeholders to ensure they reach a consensus so that residents can have a lasting amicable solution to this sensitive matter.
He also promised to stand with the marginalized communities and give them employment opportunities in his government to ensure inclusivity and unity in the County.
As it stands, Makokha is currently leading in the recent Senatorial Candidate popularity polls done by Infotrak Research and Consulting Company with 38%. David Wafula Wakoli of Ford Kenya is at 16%, Mwambu Mabonga of UDA 7%, both Julius Masinde and Raidon Munoko who are independent candidates 1% each while 37 % of the population are still undecided.