We sat down with Fred Banja during this week’s edition on driving political change and here is what he had to share with us.
Q. Please share with us ten core objectives in your manifesto
a) Education for all
b) Quality and accessible health services for all
c) Employment opportunities for the young and old
d) Self-employment initiatives through the Govt kitty
e) Covid relief initiatives
f) Improved infrastructure
g) Empowerment of farmers and fishermen
h) Access to financial aid for small & medium sized businesses
g) Access to markets
h) Fair distribution of CDF
Q. Why do you feel that you can relate deeply to the problems of the people of Bondo constituency?
I have gone through a lot of challenges in my life this has put me in a position to understand and have compassion for those who have gone and are still going through hardships I have faced. I know what it means to lack food and other basic needs. I have been there and I know how it feels and I am here to ensure that no one ever feels like that again
Q. Who can you say you look up to in Siaya when it comes to politics and leadership?
I definitely look up to Raila Odinga and Oburu Odinga because they have represented Bondo well on a national level and they are truly patriotic leaders.
Q. Oburu Odinga is a person of great influence in Bondo and Siaya at large have you forged a working relationship with him and other influential leaders in the area?
Yes, I have
Q. Whose political leadership style do you admire the most (historically and present) and why?
Barrack Obama, Raila Odinga and Oburu Odinga as well
Q. How can you describe your leadership/political style?
I am a democratic leader I love to listen to the people's voices and fulfill their wants and needs. I am going to open up the channels of communication so that the people's voices will be put in the fore front at the end of the day I am the people's leader
Q. What are you planning to do better than your predecessor in terms of service delivery?
I plan on;
Improving infrastructure (roads).
Giving easier access to markets.
Fair distribution of CDF funds so that our children can study.
COVID and tax relief.
Easy transportation of fish to markets through cold trucks that will be donated by me.
Clean water and electricity in every household.
Increased empowerment projects.
Increased jobs for the youth.
Q. What are some of the things you've done for the groups in Bondo?
During the Covid-19 season I have donated masks, sanitizers, water tanks to the people.
I have educated young boys and girls who have been locked out in the CDF program
I have helped women in chamas build good relationships with banks hence getting them finances for their growing businesses.
I have organized ready markets for entreprenuers especially farmers,fishermen and miners.
Q. Now that the country is going through inflation what is your economic recovery plan for the people of Bondo?
I am going to work with banks to ensure that interest on loans taken is reduced so that people can be able to pay for their loans slowly. My office is going to give out bursary so that those parents burdened by the Covid-19 pandemic can take their children to school. My office is going to reduce the prices of food to ensure that people can afford food for their families during this tough period. I am also going to work with the county government to give tax exemptions where possible. I am also going to ensure that those who have lost their jobs can earn their daily bread and provide for their families through several youth initiatives that I'm launching
Q. With the current health crisis analysts say that there are those who will be resistant to taking the vaccine how are you going to endure everyone is Bondo takes the vaccine?
I am going to work together with chiefs and Influential leaders of the community to ensure everyone is vaccinated. We are going to talk to people on the importance of getting vaccinated and keeping their families safe.
Q. Many teenage students have been home due to the pandemic and often during long breaks such as these when students go back to school some don't return. How will you ensure that most return?
I will work with the chief and the local administration to ensure that all children report to school on time. I will also ensure that those who became early mothers will do their exams and their needs will be catered for.