Is this the future of Kisii Politics?

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Dolfine Bwari, Jacob Bagaka, Peter Otachi and Thomas Obare. [PHOTO: COURTESY]

For nearly three decades, the average age for elected leaders in Kisii has been 50 years. Elections for the civic leaders under the defunct Municipal and Town Councils were majorly a preserve for the elderly.

However, the script seems to have changed with the promulgation of the 2010 Constitution, ushering in a new dawn of governance and leadership in the country and which brought about County Assemblies.

The past three election cycles have been a blessing to the majority of young politicians in the region.

The current composition of the Kisii County Assembly presents an image of a possible generational change in politics. Twenty-six others, the majority being of them females, were nominated.

Jacob Bagaka: Deputy Speaker Kisii County Assembly

Jacob Bagaka, 35, is a first-time MCA and the Deputy Speaker Kisii County Assembly. The Masige West representative is also the Secretary General of the United Progressive Alliance. He is among the most active members of the assembly.

He is listed as the Managing Director of a Hurricane Global Facilities Management Company.

Bagaka holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Statistics from Makerere University in Uganda. He has worked as an Operations Officer with Barclays (now Absa) Uganda.

“We are moving into a new phase in our Kisii Politics. It is time to change the notion that young people cannot deliver. We opened the way, and soon generational change politics will be a reality in Gusii,” Bagaka says.

Peter Otachi: Chair of the Budget and Appropriation Committee

Peter Otachi, the Chair of the Budget and Appropriation Committee, says his position requires that he takes advice, consult with everyone, and ensure that he represents the interests of his colleagues.

A quiet MCA, Otachi, 32, is among the most eloquent leaders in the Kisii Assembly. A Bachelor of Actuarial Science and a student of Applied Statistics at Maseno University.

Bouse Mairura: Minority Chief Whip

The firebrand Minority Chief Whip Bouse Mairura, 32, has on several occasions taken area Governor Simba Arati head on over the running of the county government.

“We must respect those who voted us into power. The opposition party in the County should never be seen to be in bed with the Government. There are good programs being initiated by the county, but there are also those we must question. It is not a yes sir movement.”

Mairura’s political future looks promising owing to his stand on matters affecting the community. The Laikipia University Bachelor of Education Graduate in English and Literature says no amount of intimidation will force him into supporting what he believes goes against his wishes00

Dolfine Bwari: Representing Gender Top-Up

His colleague in the opposition, Dolfine Bwari, 34, joined politics in 2019 and was set for the Kisii Woman Representative seat before her party, the United Democratic Alliance, held negotiations and the ticket was handed over to the leading candidate.

Through the negotiations, she earned a slot as a nominee representing Gender Top-Up. “Being in the opposition is not easy, and sometimes the female voices are not heard. The minority have a say but the majority will always have the way.”

The Technical University Bachelor of Business in Marketing graduate says she was de-whipped as the vice chairperson because of her political affiliations.

“The future is promising, and there are signs and possibilities that we may have the first female deputy governor in the next general elections. The journey is bumpy, but we are equal to the task. I will never give in to intimidation. Those charged with ensuring that devolution works at the county level will have to do with our criticism.”

Thomas Obare, 32, was elected as an independent candidate representing the people of Basi Boitangare. He is seen as the voice of reason in the Assembly.

The University of Nairobi Economics and Statistics graduate is the Vice Chairman of Legal and Administration.

“We represent a new image in our Kisii politics. We don’t oppose it for the sake of it; we are doing this for posterity. Generational change politics is here with us, and we must change with the tides.”

Anthony Kerage (Gesusu Ward), Wycliffe Siocha (Inchuni) are Vincent Moracha (Majority Leader) are among other youthful leaders in the Assembly, keen to change the political space in the county.

 

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