Lugari MP Ayub Savula. (Photo: Courtesy)
Rivals of Lugari MP Ayub Savula have launched a massive onslaught against his re-election bid ahead of the August elections.
The four aspirants seeking to unseat Savula include Nabii Nabwera (ODM) and Joab Kinzi (Jubilee). Patrick Sande and Joseph Lunani will battle it out for the Ford Kenya party ticket.
Savula won in ANC primaries at the weekend.
Savula’s rivals claim the MP only attends harambees to flaunt his cash but has never initiated any meaningful development in the constituency.
They also claim that Savula has been unable to sustain his posh lifestyle, something they say explains his current absence from fundraisers.
Savula, however, dismissed his opponents saying they are jokers who have no development track record or the financial muscle to defeat him in August polls.
“To begin with, I don’t have competitors but jokers who don’t know why they are in the race. My presence cannot be felt now in harambees because it was banned. I have finance to facilitate campaigns and I will ride on my development record for re-election,” said Savula.
Savula further stated that he has accomplished a lot with CDF funds and states that the area has seen six colleges, one in every ward, put up during his tenure.
He also said he has put up 20 new primary and 10 secondary schools.
“We have in Lugari one college per ward, in Mautuma we have Kenya Medical Training College which has admitted 100 students. Lumakanda has teachers’ diploma college and its third year intake is in September. In Lugari, we have Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology branch with 50 students from Lugari,” he said.
He added: “I have spent Sh3 million annually to pay school fees for 80 students in the constituency and bought land at Kipkaren to construct a modern market. In Chevaywa, DP William Ruto recently launched a technical training institute at a cost of Sh100 million.”
Nabwera, who got ODM direct ticket, will be making a second stab at the seat after losing to Savula in 2013.
He said his key pillars include education, infrastructure, equitable distribution of resources and youth and women empowerment.
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“Lugari people argue that the incumbent has not performed to their satisfaction. I believe I have a vision to change Lugari. If elected, I will first address the high number of school dropouts and invest in school infrastructure,” said Nabii.
Nabwera, a former Kakamega Chief of Staff, states that Lugari also requires leadership that will discourage a culture of handouts.
“The culture of handouts in Lugari has hindered development for decades because people chose leaders who dish out money. The constituency still has many mud-walled schools Like Pan-Paper and Mabuye primary schools, decades after independence,” said Nabii, a close ally of opposition leader Raila and Governor Wycliffe Oparanya.
He added that his leadership will also strive to unite locals who are currently divided.
“The constituency is full of incomplete CDF project. If elected, which I am optimistic I will raise the bar of leadership. I will also create wealth and come up with youth programmes to empower them economically,” said Nabwera.
Savula said he has initiated a lot of development through his collaboration with National Youth Service and has improved infrastructure in the area and over 1200 youth hired.
“I have no regrets working with the Government to bring development to Lugari. I used NYS equipment to gravel roads in the constituency. I will soon engage commercial banks to train youth on investment,” added the former journalist.
Sande is optimistic he will clinch the Ford Kenya Party ticket and states that he would endeavour to create jobs, distribute resources equally, empower youth and improve education standards.
“I believe I am best suited to represent Lugari people and I will ensure right share of cake through development in the six wards. I will also initiate projects in agriculture in a bid to empower women and youth. Nurturing youth talents is also on my agenda. We must tell our people handouts don’t bring meaningful development,” said Sande.
Kinzi, who recently resigned as a senior lecturer at Laikipia University to pursue politics, said he will utilise CDF funds to improve education, infrastructure and help farmers use technology to improve yields.
“I recently abandoned chalk for politics because past and current leaders in Lugari have been hawking our votes for their own selfish interests. I intend to improve road network and schools which are in poor state. Bursaries are distributed with nepotism,” said Kinzi.
The four aspirants also criticised Savula for failing to introduce any Bill or motion in Parliament that would benefit Lugari electorate.
“He has failed to represent Lugari people in Parliament which is his primary duty. He should be prepared to go home on August. PR cannot work anymore,” said Nabii.
However, Savula is optimistic that he will clinch the seat for second term and defends his performance in Parliament, saying he drafted a Bill to allow legislators be appointed to Cabinet.
“My rivals are confused, they should check the Hansard. I have performed and they know that,” he said.