(eTN) – Kenya’s embattled Tourism Minister, at odds with the private sector and at loggerheads with the Board of Directors of the Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) and its Chief Executive, Muriithi Ndegwa, has signaled his intention to stand for the post of Senator in his home area of Taita Taveta, according to reports received overnight. He was last weekend seen starting his campaign with his political godfather in tow, a move termed by some observers as aimed to intimidate other aspirants, first within the ODM political party from where he needs to win nomination and then against aspirants from other parties.
Mwazo was gifted the tourism ministry after his globally- and nationally-respected predecessor Najib Balala was fired by his party leader for candidly reminding him of the rules of democracy, and while Balala remained a member of parliament for Mombasa he, too, appears to be vying for a different position come the next general elections under a new party he helped to form.
“That announcement signals the end of the minister’s effectiveness in tourism and it is for the better,” quipped a regular Nairobi-based contributor before continuing, “The sector has repeatedly now called for him to be sacked or to resign over the mischief he created in the KTB and how he treated our sector. It is clear he is now seeking a way out of this by attempting to capture another political office, but as far as we are concerned, he is already gone. He still sits in his Utalii House office but for us, he no longer exists. We only hope to get a competent man or woman like we had in Balala, because he was a champion for the tourism industry like we never had before. We hope whoever forms the next government will keep that in mind and gives this sector a person who can work with us to better Kenya’s future.”
Other sources in unison welcomed the news, too, saying it was good for the sector, as Mwazo was now sure not to come back to the portfolio where during the past six months he managed to thoroughly upset relations with the private sector and key stakeholders over his abrasive and often misspoken announcements and public utterances.