LANDS assistant miniter Gonzi Rai has said he will defend his Kinango parliamentary seat in the election. This ends speculation that he was set to contest the Kwale county senator's seat against Environment minister Chirau Ali Mwakwere.
Rai, who is Coast's longest serving politician and legislator said he is still keen on fostering development in his semi-arid Kinango constituency.
Speaking at Kwakadogo Primary school in his constituency at the weekend, Rai said he is not interested in the newly created positions because he still has a lot of work to do for his constituents. "I have been with you ever since you elected me councillor in the 1980s then MP from 1992 before you gave me a break in 1997, but decided to re-elect me in 2002 to date. I will stick with you to develop this area," he said.
Mwakwere is set to battle it out for the senator's seat with former Matuga MP Juma Boy Juma and youthful engineer Nicholas Zani while the governor's post has attracted Wildlife and Forestry PS Mohammed Mwachai, former Kinango MP Simeon Mkallah, NGO directors Salim Mphurya and Michael Chidzao Nyanje. Two months ago Rai distanced himself from rumours that he was backing a particular candidate for the governor. "I am not backing any candidate be it for governorship or senate seat. I will declare my post of interest when the right time comes, " he said.
Apart from Mwachai who is from Matuga, Mkallah, Mphurya and Nyanje hail from Kinango while all the candidates eyeing the senator's position come from Matuga in an arrangement that is aimed at giving the Digo and Duruma communities senator and governor positions respectively. Calls to have Mkallah, Chidzao and Mphurya agree of one candidate for governor to face Mwachai have fallen on deaf ear, a move that residents of Kinango fear might hand over both the senator and governor seats to Matuga constituents.