Knowing voters’ needs, body organises sessions with aspirants

Representatives of civil society organisations in Homa Bay County at a meeting on May 12, 2022. The groups will engage governor aspirants to shed light on their manifesto and present to them some of the issues affecting residents. 

Photo credit: George Odiwuor | Nation Media Group.

Civil society organisations in Homa Bay County have organised a roundtable discussion with governor aspirants to get them acquainted with social issues affecting residents.

The organisations will discuss issues that are important to residents but which politicians do not want to talk about.

Some of them include environmental degradation, child protection, youth and women’s agenda and climate change.

It has been noted that governor aspirants Gladys Wanga (now the woman rep) and former Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero are focused on agriculture, industrialisation and other development projects as their main campaigns agenda but are not paying attention to problems like teenage pregnancies.

There is fear that social vices that have taken root in the county may not be addressed by the leaders if elected because no one speaks about them now.

Mathews Owili, the chairman of the Homa Bay County Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) network, said the June 9 meeting will also allow residents to get a better understanding of the aspirants’ manifestos.

"Some of the words used in the documents may not be easily understood by some people. We just want the aspirants to give a simple explanation and how they will execute some of the issues they have listed,” he said.

Speaking during a meeting of representatives of different organisations based in the county, Mr Owili said the aspirants will be asked to commit to promote peace.

Scrutinise manifesto

Japheth Ojijo, the facility programme coordinator for Integrated Development, said the aspirants will also have their manifestos scrutinised and residents will be told about each detail of the documents.

He said services are poor in the county because of lack of commitment from leaders.

“The aspirants will be asked to commit to fulfill what they promise during campaigns,” Mr Ojijo said.

The organisations have collected views from the youth, women, persons with disabilities and other groups and will present common interests to the aspirants.

It will be the first time such a meeting will be held in the county.

Mr Ojijo said the organisations have had success by pushing for policies that the government needed to implement and they are determined to ensure more policies are adopted.

"We managed to have the climate change policy sail through. Our work has also ensured the gender-based violence policy is looked at and passed. We are looking forward to making a social contract with the leaders through other policies," he said.

Mr Hassan Opidi, a member of the county CSOs, said the roundtable meeting would help residents get better services.

"Implementation of development projects should be done after public application. This is among the things we are pushing for," he said.

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