Mwadime defeats Samboja in Taita Taveta governor race

Andrew Mwadime who is the Taita Taveta governor elect.



Photo credit: Lucy Mkanyika I Nation Media Group

Taita Taveta Governor Granton Samboja has lost his seat to independent candidate Andrew Mwadime.

The former Mwatate MP sent Mr Samboja home after he garnered 49,901 votes against the incumbent's 23,703.

The governor lost in his backyard, the Wundanyi constituency, where he garnered 6,250 votes against Mwadime's 11,241.

In Mwatate constituency, Mr Mwadime won with 13,938 votes whereby the governor got 8,443. In Voi, he garnered 16,171 votes while the governor had 5,613 votes.

In Taveta, former Governor John Mruttu (UDA) garnered 10,886 votes while Mr Mwadime had 8,551votes.

Mr Mwadime has served Mwatate constituents for two terms since 2013 when he beat former MP Calist Mwatela.

In 2017, he was reelected through the same party that he hoped will take him to the next level of leadership.

He had declared his interest in the seat last year but his hopes to get the ODM ticket proved futile.

In March this year, he decamped to the Communist Party of Kenya (CPK) where he later resigned to vie as an independent candidate after the party moved to support the Kenya Kwanza Alliance Coalition.

After receiving his certificate at the Taita Taveta University tallying centre in Mwatate, the new governor said the victory belonged to the residents.

Mr Mwadime said the journey to clinch the county's top seat has not been easy and thanked his supporters for believing in him to run the devolved unit.

"As an independent candidate it was not easy at all but the residents have held my hand all through," he said.

Mr Mwadime vowed to fight corruption and pledged to ensure that he brings development to the county to redeem the residents from the challenges facing them.

Mr Mwadime said he will ensure that the residents get better health services and also complete projects that were started by his predecessors.

"Those were not their projects, they were implemented using public funds. I will involve the residents in everything and we will work together with other leaders to ensure that we get development," he said.

Deputy Governor-elect Christine Kilalo said they will work with all the residents across the county.

"We thank the voters because they have believed in us and we promise that we will not disappoint them," she said.

In results released by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission on Saturday early morning, Mr Mruttu (UDA) garnered 13,865 votes followed by former senator Dan Mwazo (Wiper) with 11,543 votes to clinch the fourth position.

The race had attracted 13 contenders including the incumbent.

Others in the race were Faustine Mghendi (TSP), Godino Mwasaru (independent), Patience Nyange (Narc), Prof Agnes Mwang'ombe (ANC), and Francis Mwaita (Safina) and George Mwandembo (DAP-K).

Mr Stephen Mwakesi (PEP), Thomas Mwakwida (ODM) and Onesmus Mwinzi (independent) were also in the race.

Mr Samboja is yet to concede defeat but Mr Mruttu, Ms Nyange, Mr Mwakesi, Prof Mwang'ombe, Godino and Mwakwida have conceded defeat and thanked the residents for voting for them.

In his statement, Mr Mruttu congratulated Mr Mwadime and wished him well.

"I respect the decision of the people. The results show that my agenda did not go well with the voters. I congratulate him and wish him well," he said.

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