Kilifi gubernatorial aspirant Gideon Mung’aro Sunday met with representatives of the Somali community as he intensified his bid for the county seat.
Mr Mung’aro, who is the Kilifi North MP elected on an ODM ticket before jumping ship to the Jubilee Party, met with more than 100 representatives of the community and asked them to support him.
Speaking at Wananchi cottage in Kilifi Town, the MP said that he will seal a deal with the community to involve them in his administration if he wins in the August 8 polls.
Mr Mung’aro was accompanied by Ganze MP Peter Shehe, Sokoni Ward aspirant Ruth Bendera and Esther Kache, an aspirant for the Kilifi North Constituency seat.
He said the Somali community has contributed to the economic growth of the county and wondered why they have always been marginalised and not employed by the county government.
“I will work with everyone. I will incorporate you in my administration and it is not only the Somali community but even other communities that calls Kilifi their home, despite coming from other regions,” he said.
He assured the community they will benefit from county tenders and other appointments just like the indigenous Kilifi people since they also pay taxes in the county.
“The current county administration has failed you. Why should it give tenders to companies from Mombasa and Mandera yet you also have companies that equally qualify for county jobs and contracts. That, we shall change,” he said.
Somali community vice-chairman Abdulkleis Issak spoke of the challenges facing his people.
“There are so many Somalis in the county but [we] have been discriminated [against]. We live in isolation from the locals and in offices, they see us as non-Kilifi residents. That is very bad,” said Mr Isaak.
He said, both politicians and government administrators have remained silent as the community suffers while looking for identity cards, and other essential documents from government offices.
Mr Mung’aro and Mr Shehe later toured Bamba trading centre in Ganze Constituency where they addressed grassroots Jubilee Party teams and promised them a change in leadership style.
Mr Shehe said the constituency had witnessed tremendous development after he decided to work with the Jubilee administration, adding that time is ripe for the people to vote for the party to implement its development plans.