The Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party flag bearer for the Msambweni parliamentary seat by-election Omar Boga says he will engage stakeholders to plan tourism revival if elected.
Boga who was addressing women groups at Kibundani area of Ukunda ward on Sunday underscored the need to promote and revive tourism activities in the region.
At least 11 candidates are expected to contest for the Msambweni parliamentary seat left vacant following the death of area ODM MP Suleiman Dori in March.
It was the first time Boga resumed his meet-the-people tours since he tested positive for Covid-19 two weeks ago and went into isolation.
He shared his experience with Covid-19 saying he was self-quarantining at home after being discharged from Mombasa Hospital and urged the people to take the contagious disease seriously.
The ODM candidate has vowed to continue the hunt for votes in the constituency to lock out other party and independent candidates.
Boga said he will also focus on the fishing and blue economy sectors and other spheres of development if elected besides aiming to tackle youth unemployment.
He encouraged the women and the youth to embrace the concept of self-help groups as a means of addressing unemployment, poverty alleviation and improving their socio-economic situations.
The ODM party nominee who was accompanied by the party’s nominated Senator Dr. Agnes Zani said tourism which remains Kwale’s economic mainstay was seriously affected by the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
Dr. Zani was in the constituency to drum up support for the ODM candidate in the Msambweni parliamentary race.
Boga, a former civic leader for Bongwe/Gombato ward said he is well-versed with the challenges facing the tourism industry and will immediately embark on the road to revival once elected.
He said many tourist establishments in the coastal county have closed indefinitely as a result of the covid-19 outbreak leading to many employees finding themselves without work.
The parliamentary hopeful also said he is determined to economically empower women if elected in the forthcoming by-election.
He says he will support women empowerment projects and create awareness on how women can access money from the various empowerment funds championed by the government to improve on their socio-economic wellbeing.
“It is vital to accord women sufficient opportunities as they contribute towards the general betterment of the society,” he said, adding that women are key agents of change.
The aspiring MP said he stands for stability, unity and prosperity promised to work with the government to ensure insecurity issues were well addressed.
On her part, Dr. Zani, a former ODM secretary general and a native of Kwale said her party is keen to recapture the Msambweni seat.
She said ODM party leader and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga is expected to visit the region and lend support to the party candidate.
The nominated senator expressed confidence that ODM will ‘comfortably retain the Msambweni seat’ won by the party in the last three general elections.
Dr. Zani urged the voters to elect Boga saying he enjoys the support and goodwill of President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM party leader courtesy of the handshake between the two leaders.
She urged the voters to elect Boga whom she said is the handshake candidate and the best person to look after their interests.
The two-term nominated senator said ODM has embarked on a grassroots mobilization of voters to ensure the party’s flag bearer wins by landslide.
Msambweni which was established for the 1988 general elections is one of the four constituencies in Kwale county, others being Lunga-Lunga, Matuga and Kinango.
It has 69,377 registered voters spread in the four wards of Ramisi, Kinondo, Bongwe-Gombato and Ukunda.
By Hussein Abdullahi