Written by Joseph Amunya Otieno
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Housing Minister Peter Soita Shitanda addressing Likuyani residents.
LIKUYANI, KAKAMEGA COUNTY: Supporters of the United Democratic Forum Party (UDF) in Kakamega County have been advised not to engage any party matters with officials located at a business premise within Kakamega town purporting to be affiliated to the party.
Speaking when he met party officials from the newly created Likuyani constituency Housing Minister Peter Soita Shitanda denounced the parallel office located at Ambwere Plaza saying that it was not recognized by UDF head office.
The minister who is also UDF party aspirant for Kakamega County governorship alleged that the office led by the ousted party coordinator Edward Omung'ala was extorting cash from aspirants and called on officials and members from all branches and sub-branches in the county to transact party matters with the officially recognized party coordinator for the county Mr. Moses Lumiti at Shirere office in Kakamega town.
Shitanda was reacting to complaints from Likuyani sub-branch party delegates that the presence of the two parallel offices was confusing the delegates and especially potential aspirants.
The party delegates alleged that the confusion was partly to blame for the dismal performance of party during the recent civic by-election in Bukura ward where the party lost to ODM candidate.
Currently it is claimed is claimed some officials and aspirants were reporting to the Ambwere office while others were dealing with the Shiere office. The Omung'ala team has also gone ahead to appoint parallel structures in some sub-branch who are reporting directly to him.
The officials led by Kakamega County disabled chairperson Jason Mwashi had taken the minister to task to shed light on the ensuing conflict in the county office.
However the minister called on the officials at Shirere office to stop extorting cash from aspirants adding that they had raised the matter with the Party headquarters and that they were optimistic the matter would be resolved during grassroots polls scheduled to take place in a month time used the opportunity to call for unity within the party hierarchy.
On development matters, the minister promised area residents that using funds accrued from sugarcane levies he would champion for creation of a University Education Fund that will provide full scholarships to all students who merit minimal university education entry grades in order for the County to produce enough professionals across the fields of her own.
He said that he was optimistic of raising sh. 60m every month from the sugarcane industry to pay university fees for all university students for four years course.
Faulting the academic standards in the county the minister regretted that Kakamega county , a once beacon of education in western province, was currently trailing behind Bungoma and Busia Counties when it came to the number of students joining university education both in public and private universities.
“Currently Kakamega county was trailing in University entrance behind Bungoma and Busia despite the fact that Kakamega was endowed with untapped riches. It is unfortunate that a single school in Bungoma produces more university entrance than the entire Kakamega County,” said Shitanda.
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