Let those seeking positions show what they have done to Kenyans
Written by John Kabaka
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Soita Shitanda the Housing Minister hands over a certifiocate of registration to the chairperson Massingo housing cooperative Mama Winnie Minayo in Kakamega after he met stakeholders of the cooperative movement on how to make Kakamega County Prosperous [ PHOTO | John Kabaka.]
Housing Minister Peter Soita Shitanda has urged residents of Kakamega County to reject aspirants with a poor development record seeking for political office at national, county or parliamentary level.
Addressing a meeting of housing cooperative members at the Kakamega municipal hall, Shitanda observed that the transformation of Kakamega in to a prosperous county would depend on the kind of elected leadership mandated to steer that development.
Without naming him, but apparently referring to his cabinet colleague Wycliffe Oparanya (National Planning and Vision 2030 Minister), Shitanda asked Kakamega residents to vet candidates for the county governors position arguing some had nothing to show for their position in government.
Oparanya who is the only other cabinet minister from Kakamega County will be challenging Shitanda for the governor’s seat come the general election. Others in the race to become the first governor of the county included civil servant Paul Olando, businesswoman Mable Muruli and businessman Simbauni Ndombi.
The Malava legislator said electing poor leaders would derail the development of the county and put prosperity on hold for five years. He said his first priority if elected would be to rid Kakamega town off the slums and create a working system.
He said though the ministry of housing had projected that all Kenyan would be living in decent houses by the year 2020, that projection was untenable, inhibited by financial constraints and sabotage by sections of the society’s affluent who resort to court to block establishment of affordable housing by government.
“I want to echo sentiments by other speakers here that though our constitution states that government shall ensure decent shelter for its citizens, Kenyans should realize that decent housing will not come free. Each one of us has a role to ensure that he resides in a decent shelter,” Shitanda said,
He said through ministry of housing, a Sh.1.2 billion infrastructure program was underway to lay out physical and social infrastructure within the informal settlements of Kakamega town. The program funded by the World Bank under the Kenya informal settlement schemes improvement program (KISSIP) is being funded in 15 municipalities across the country.
Shitanda urged residents to join the cooperative movements around them to reap from Sacco services and financial benefits. He said the ministry of housing was ready to team up with investors interesting in providing affordable housing for the country’s urban poor.