Mwatate MP Andrew Mwadime has been declared the third governor of Taita-Taveta County after garnering 49,901 votes.
Mwadime, who ran as an independent candidate, defeated the incumbent Granton Samboja after the latter emerged second with 23,703 votes. Mwadime has been the MP for Mwatate constituency since 2013 with Orange Democratic Movement (ODM).
The results were announced on Saturday by the IEBC County Returning Officer Ms. Eisha Mohammed at the county tallying center in Taita-Taveta University. The Taita-Taveta governor’s race had attracted a record 13 contestants.
Speaking after receiving the winning certificate, the governor-elect thanked the voters and pledged to work with all leaders for the benefit of the county residents.
“I am thankful that we won. Now it is time to work and deliver what we promised our people,” he said.
In his concession speech, outgoing governor Granton Samboja asked the residents to embrace the incoming governor and support him to drive the development agenda. He disclosed that he had already asked the county secretary and other senior county government officials to start the process of handing over to the incoming leadership.
“I congratulate the governor-elect Andrew Mwadime and wish him the best as he takes the county to higher heights. I have directed the county secretary to prepare everything for handing over and accord the new team the support it needs,” said governor Samboja.
He further asked the voters to remain united noting that political differences were never personal. He noted that the county needed to forge a common front to achieve the envisaged development which was only possible through unity.
By Saturday morning, over 10 aspirants had already conceded and congratulated the winner. Amongst them was first governor John Mruttu of UDA who got 13,685 votes. Media personality Patience Nyange, one of the two women candidates, also conceded after garnering 2,071 votes. She promised to support the governor elect to develop the county.
In the senatorial position, Johnes Mwaruma of ODM retained his seat after garnering 39,142 votes. His closest challenger, Godwin Kilele of Jubilee Party, got 26,158 votes. The senator’s post had attracted 10 aspirants.
Ms. Lydia Haika of UDA retained her women’s representative seat after bagging 38,363. Former women representative Joyce Lay of Jubilee Party came second with 23,076 votes. The women’s representative post had attracted eight aspirants.
By Wagema Mwangi