Kiambu gubernatorial aspirant, Mwende Gatabaki, is making headlines for her strong views on the need for transparency and overall change in the way the county operates.
The race for the Kiambu seat is quite a competitive race as it has former Governor William Kabogo, Thika MP Patrick Wainaina aka wa Jungle, on an Independent candidacy, Governor James Nyoro, current Senator Patrick Wamatangi, and Mwende Gatabaki of Safina Party.
Mwende has prioritised solving water issues for the people, the urgency of revamping the nursery schools (since most people can’t afford the private nursery system), creating markets for the smallholder farmers, foxing roads and planned urbanization to safeguard agriculture.
Speaking at the debate, Gatabaki questioned why Kiambu had all of a sudden turned into a zone full of social issues when it was once renowned as an agricultural leader especially in dairy farming and food production in general.
“My goal is to transform Kiambu County from a net importer of food to an exporter in five years by embracing agriculture value chain development and increasing value addition.”
According to Gatabaki, social issues like drug abuse need to be dealt with first before anything else since alcohol consumption and drug abuse are key reasons for the failure of the citizens’ productivity.
She suspects some of the political leaders in Kiambu are behind the selling of alcohol to residents.
“There is a conflict of interest when it comes to dealing with alcohol and drug abuse in Kiambu because some of the leaders are also suppliers.”
Kiambu has lacked leadership evidenced by leaders failing to turn up and be present — neither for the MCAs or general public — leading to minimal accountability and responsibility.
“Having turned around Kenya Tea Development Agency(KTDA) I believe Kiambu needs a Turn Around which means it needs Fresh blood, someone with experience. When I turned around KTDA farmers were uprooting their tea,” she said.
Gatabaki says Kiambu has become a place where corruption will keep on thriving unless the people elect a fresh person who has a vision bold enough for turnaround.
“Kiambu needs a turnaround and it can’t be done with the same leaders who have been there. It needs one with leadership skills, management excellence, and experience in operational excellence,” Gatabaki observed.
Mwende of the Safina Party emphasizes that her manifesto is fully about involving the people that is through youth empowerment, agriculture, and how to mitigate the climate change issue.
“Under my three pillars of building human capital development, I have a green revolution that seeks to intensify agricultural productivity and maximize small-holder farmers’ income,” she said.