Candidates vying for the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry deputy president seat are in a do-or-die campaign sprint as the election date draws near.
Richard Ngatia who is eyeing the KNCC&I chairmanship is almost assured of winning the most coveted seat. The candidates for the deputy slot have been pledging allegiance to him hoping to get the support of his supporters. Ngatia is facing James Mureu who is the current vice chair of KNCCI.
Among those going for the deputy slot is Gor Semelang’o. Semelang’o, a former Youth Fund boss is banking on his wide political network and his close ties with the First Family to clinch the seat in the polls.
He also boasts of support from a section of Nyanza delegates.
Others seeking to contest for the first vice-president’s position include Charles Wako. Wako, chairman East African Safari Air Express has the backing western delegates.
Wako is also hoping the influence of his brother, Busia senator Amos Wako help to beat his rivals.
Wako has been in aviation industry for decades and once served as president of African Civil Aviation Commission and board member of the joint Hellenic and Kenya Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Another candidate to watch is Fatma El Maawy. She enjoys the backing of the Muslim community and she is banking on gender balance. She is said to be a performer at the current position she holds at KNCCI.
Recently, KNCCI introduced the position of second vice-chair, an appointee of the president, to address skills, gender, regional, youth and disability-related imbalance at the top leadership. Many expect her to land the slot if she fails to win.
Also in the race is Erick Ruto who has been endorsed by members from 13 branches in the Rift Valley region.
The Eldoret-based Reale Hospital proprietor is an accomplished businessman.
Julius Opiyo is also in the race for the deputy president slot. He is banking on support from Nyanza and Western, and also other parts of the country.