ODM Trans Nzoia senatorial candidate using boda boda to campaign

Beatrice Kitiabi is clearly the underdog in the Trans Nzoia senatorial seat that has attracted nine hopefuls.

Ms Kitiabi is the only one campaigning in the vast county using boda boda motorcycles.

She says although she can hardly match the financial muscles of her opponents who include a former minister, a nominated senator and the incumbent Henry Ndiema, she is not discouraged and believes victory will be hers on August 8.

“I am the candidate who does not have the money to splash around or give to the people in order to vote for me, says the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) candidate.

“I am campaigning on motorcycles with all my campaign team in all the constituencies since I don’t have vehicles because I cannot afford,” says Ms Katiabi, a women rights campaigner from the region.

OPPONENTS

Among her rivals is nominated Senator Catherine Mukite who is running as an independent candidate and former Cherangany MP and Agriculture minister in the Kibaki administration, Kipruto arap Kirwa of Amani National Congress (ANC).

She is also fighting for the seat with Senator Ndiema (Ford Kenya) and Michael Mbito (Jubilee Party).

Other candidates are Ken Wafula, Lewis Ndombi and David Kinusi all running as independents and Kilimo Kore of Kanu.

The 52-year-old mother of five was given a direct ticket by ODM to contest for the seat.

She believes that this action alone by the party shows the confidence the party has in her in capturing the seat in the cosmopolitan county.

GOT SCARED

“We were three in the race but two men got scared and withdrew because of what I stand for,” Ms Kitiabi said.

Born in Cherengany constituency, the senatorial aspirant unsuccessfully ran for the Member of County Assembly seat in 2013.

Now, she says she has matured in politics and feels that the senator’s seat is the right one for her.

She is banking on the networks she has built over the years as a campaigner for the rights and empowerment of women and girls in the region to emerge victorious.

One of her strong networks that she believes will be key in her election as senator is within the membership of Maendeleo ya Wanawake, where she is the Kwanza constituency branch chairperson.

INTEGRITY

“I am banking on my constituency where I was born and the 25 wards which have 10 members each in Maendeleo ya Wanawake,” she told Nation.co.ke in an interview.

Ms Kitiabi who also runs a Community Based Organisation (CBO) — Listen to the Voice of Women — has been urging voters during her campaigns to choose leaders of integrity and a record of good governance.

“People should not vote because of financial considerations. They must focus on the integrity of those seeking to represent them,” says the former student of Nyabururu Girls.

Mock results from 20 selected counties will be relayed.

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