DEFECTED

Ms Otara defected from ODM to Jubilee at about the same time as Senator Chris Obure and Deputy Governor Joash Maangi.

Mr Maangi has since returned to the Raila Odinga-led party.

While moving to Jubilee, she blamed ODM officials of sidelining her.

However, she was to later leave Jubilee after losing to Ms Aburi in the party primaries, alleging rigging.

Other contestants include Norah Nyamwamu of Kenya National Congress, a former Public Service Board member and Nazarene University Kisii campus director.

CHILD PROSTITUTION

Ms Nyamwamu has identified the fight against child prostitution and poverty eradication as her main her concerns.

“We are dismayed by the spiralling numbers of minors plying the flesh trade on the streets of Kisii Town and other smaller towns and I want to ensure they are relocated to children’s homes and other safer zones once I assume office,” said Ms Nyamwamu.

Linet Mong’are, running on a Kenya Social Congress (KSC) ticket, says she is passionate about tackling issues facing people in vulnerable groups.

“I will provide effective representation for vulnerable groups including women, orphaned children and the disabled, both within and outside parliament.

“Effective representation of the groups is the one thing we currently lack in the county,” Ms Mong’are says.

Gertrude Rebecca Kerosi, a newcomer to politics, is vying for the seat on a Maendeleo Chap Chap ticket and promises new and effective leadership if elected.

WASTE MANAGEMENT

Agribusiness entrepreneur and waste management expert Vicky Onderi has singled out electronic waste management and agribusiness as her core areas of focus in the campaigns.

Ms Onderi, who ditched Jubilee for Kanu shortly before the party primaries, says she wants to be on the ballot and offer Kisii County residents “a fair chance for competent leadership” in the elections.

“The people want change. They prefer a candidate who will champion for them and help the vulnerable groups that have been neglected in the county,” she said.

If elected woman rep, Ms Onderi says, she will champion the education of girls.

ACTIVIST

Lilian Marwa of the Amani National Congress is also in the race for the seat, vowing to give her rivals the political fight of their lives.

The child rights activist, philanthropist and former personal assistant to Elizabeth Ongwae, wife of Kisii County Governor James Ongwae, has set her sights on education for girls and the rehabilitation of street children if elected.

“I will work towards reducing the population of street children by placing them in schools and foster homes where they will receive a decent education and loving homecare,” says Ms Marwa.

Other candidates include former chief Mary Ratemo, Gladys Aunga of Safina, former Kereri Girls High School principal Ann Masenge of Wiper and nominated MCA Isabella Mose.

NOMINATED MCA

Ms Mose, also a former councillor, points to her experience in the defunct local governments and her recent stint as a nominated MCA as evidence of qualification to hold the seat.

“I have worked with the local governments and also in the county setup and therefore have an extensive experience and understanding of governance issues.

"The seat requires someone with good knowledge of the county’s problems and my many years in government have afforded me that opportunity to familiarise myself with them,” she told the Nation.

Ms Mose promises to ensure the county bursary fund is expanded to cater for more learners if she is elected into office.

EMPOWER TRADERS

Ms Aunga, who unsuccessfully ran in the 2013 elections, is campaigning on the platform of empowering small traders through soft loans and grants.

“Having been a small trader myself and [having] experienced first-hand the tribulations that small traders undergo, I would like to [provide] credit facilities to them through the Affirmative Action Fund,” Ms Aunga says.

She is confident of making a strong showing in this year’s poll, saying she has learnt from her mistakes.

"I am in the race to win this time, having tasted bitter defeat in the 2013 poll.

“My grassroots network is stronger than ever before and I am determined to scoop the victory by reaching out to all my potential voters," she said.

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