In the general election on August 9, George Nene, 22, defied all odds to win the MCA seat for the Elementaita ward.
When the modest Safina Party political rookie, who was in his final year of studies at Elementaita University, decided to enter the race, many political commentators ridiculed his effort and ruled him out of the running before local voters even went to the polls.
Nene quietly gathered support for his candidacy, refusing to be deterred by his position as an underdog. However, the effort was more difficult than he had first thought because he had to compete with more seasoned and wealthy politicians who were also interested in the position.
The MCA candidate from the Elementaita ward, who was born and raised there, claims that if it weren’t for difficulties in raising school fees, he would have already finished his education. Campaigning while riding a bicycle added to the mountain-like hurdle that stood in his way.
“I was born in Ngecha, Elementaita ward, Nakuru County and I was drawn to the position because I wanted to address some of the problems facing area residents which I have experienced first-hand,” Nene told Citizen Digital in an interview on Thursday.
Nene claims that the ward is plagued by problems like as ongoing water shortages, bad roads, understocked hospitals, and misuse of cash intended for the most fortunate members of society.
A number of his friends started to gradually believe that he would win the seat, with some even going so far as to donate money to his cause as he proceeded to canvass the water-strapped ward in an effort to stand out from his rivals.
He was even given a donkey and a cart, known as a “mkokoteni,” by another buddy to use when campaigning.
“I was using a bicycle to campaign and it was quite difficult to move around because of the poor roads which got even worse when it rained. One of my friends gave me a generator and public announcement system to use while campaigning but the problem was that I had no means to ferry them across the ward or buy fuel for the said generator,” he said.
“Another of my acquaintances however gave me his “mkokoteni”, which I fitted with the PA systems and generator which I used on the campaign trail. I thought about getting a vehicle but I couldn’t afford one.”
The rest, as they say, is history but Nene does not take his win lightly.
“I am very grateful to the people of Elementaita ward for giving me the opportunity to represent them as MCA. I hope to return the favour by addressing some of the challenges that are rampant here once I assume office,” said Nene who lives in a single-room mud-walled house.
Moses Ndung’u, a UDA candidate who was elected majority leader of the Nakuru County Assembly in 2017 after gaining the position on a Jubilee ticket, was defeated by Nene with 4,310 votes.
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