'Hustler' beats governor, tycoons to clinch Embu senator seat

Alexander Mundigi (right) receives his certificate from IEBC officials on August 13, 2022. [Muriithi Mugo, Standard]

Alexander Mundigi did not have campaign posters or any sponsors for his campaigns.

He couldn’t even raise money to pay his agents.

Unlike other contesters, who drove in big, branded vehicles with their drivers and supporters in tow, Mundigi drove himself, wooing Embu residents. 

He relied on the love and favour of residents to contest for the senator seat.

And lady luck came smiling after he garnered 81,162, to secure the seat that had 12 contesters.    

Mundigi beat outgoing Embu Governor Martin Wambora who garnered 13,523, outgoing Embu Deputy Governor David Kariuki, who got 55,695, Njeru Ndwiga who got 17, 111, former National Assembly Chief whip Norman Nyagah who garnered 9,387 and former Principal Secretary Lilian Mbogo Omollo who got 22,851 votes. 

The 56-year-old father of five was born in Mayori village and schooled at Irabari Primary School in Mbeere South Constituency, Embu County, before proceeding to a private secondary school.

He later pursued a Diploma in Building and Construction.

This year, he graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Bible Studies from the Covenant Theological College, US after enrolling on an online course.

Mundigi, worked for 30 years at KenGen switching between Kiambere, Masinga and Kamburu as a building and construction administrator.

Alexander Mundigi (right). [Muriithi Mugo, Standard]

With political ambitions, in 2007, he vied for Mbeere South (Gachoka ) parliamentary seat on a Democratic Party ticket, but never made it beyond nominations.

He says he lost the seat due to a lack of financial resources. 

“I got frustrated and went back to KenGen. I didn’t vie in 2013, but I managed to finish second as an independent candidate in 2017,” Mundigi said.

While working for KenGen, Mundigi, ventured into the matatu business.

He owned 10 matatus and he rose to become an official at Kiritiri Embu Transport Nissan Operators (KETNO).

The business did not do well after he was transferred from the Seven Forks Hydro Power stations to West Pokot.

“While away from the operation area of my PSV vehicles, there was mismanagement and the business collapsed,” he said.

While at KenGen, Mundigi was also a union leader and here, he gained lobbying skills that he promises to utilise in the Senate.

“I want to unite all Embu leaders to speak in one voice, while at the same time, playing the key role of oversight and lobbying of resources for Embu County. The county needs more money for health services and infrastructure development,” Mundigi said.

Alexander Mundigi (centre) speaks during a past event. [Joseph Muchiri, Standard]

Mundigi said he never missed any community function that locals invited him to.

“That is why I also came up with the slogan ‘Kava Mundigi twonaga’ (We value Mundigi who is always present). I never missed weddings, funerals or community events. That is where I sold my agenda,” he said. 

He claims that during Deputy President William Ruto’s last tour in Embu town, he was not officially introduced despite vying with a Kenya Kwanza affiliate party.

However, Ruto recognised him after the crowd went into a frenzy, and started shouting his name.

Mundigi said he held a harambee and only managed to raise Sh300,000, adding that he is grateful to well-wishers, who branded his vehicle and donated posters during the last weeks of his campaign.  

“At some point, I couldn’t afford the Sh600 to pay the agents. I almost gave up, but I trusted in God,” said the senator-elect.