29-year-old journalist beats veteran politicians to win MCA seat

Juma Chengo receives his certificate from Kilifi North constituency Returning Officer Khamis Tsumo at Pwani university. [File, Standard]

Juma Chengo has won the Mnarani MCA seat as an independent candidate, beating 16 contestants.

Mr Chengo launched door-to-door campaigns and traversed the rural ward on foot to convince voters to support his bid.

He garnered 2,724 votes, beating his closet challenger ODM’s Omar Kutta by over 978 votes.

“I was initially in UDA because I believed in their bottom-up agenda, but the ticket was given to someone else. I however did not lose hope,” said Chengo.

He added: “I studied journalism and I used it as a tool to change society, I wanted to be the voice of the voiceless. I realised I could do more for the people as a politician,” he said.

He promised to work hard to transform the lives of the people in his community despite his humble background.

“Since I come from a humble background, I understand the issues that affect the residents. My key agenda will be to transform the lives of the people,” He said.

Chengo further said he did not have money for campaigns, instead, he trekked from village to village to deliver his manifesto.

“I had a group of five youth and we used to trek and campaign door-to-door. Sometimes my colleagues would grow weary and I would let them rest and carry on. I had my eyes on the prize,” he said.

Chengo has worked at several stations, including at the Coast.

“I worked mostly on voluntary basis and was rarely paid. The highest I earned in my journalism career was Sh7,000,” he said.

Despite the low pay, he said he used it to invest in the community by paying school fees for children and medical bills for people from less fortunate families.

“I would share the little I got, because I couldn’t stand seeing other families sleep on an empty stomach,” said Chengo.

He said that even while working as a journalist, his biggest concern was to help the society. And because he wanted to help the people more that was why he went for an elective post to empower his community.

“Journalism goes hand in hand with politics, they are both about serving the community. I promise to be the change the people of Mnarani were waiting for.”