At 71, Raymond Chelulei could be the oldest elected MCA

Singhor-Soba ward MCA-elect Raymond Chelulei. [Edward Kosut, Standard]

Raymond Chelulei clinched the Singhor-Soba ward seat after a tough political battle that saw him floor young and energetic candidates who even used the latest campaign tactics to try and woo voters digitally.

Riding on his popular political mantra ‘boyot komas kasit’ which loosely means let the old man do the work, Chelulei changed the political tune by breaking the jinx when he trounced three contenders after massively garnering 12, 501 votes in the August 9th election.

It is a victory that will see him sit in the same House with MCAs of the same age as his children or grandchildren.

His close rival, Philip Kimaiyo came second distant with 2, 694 votes as Geoffrey Maiyo and Wilson Kimosbei earned 115 and 93 votes respectively.

In the previous two elections, 2013 and 2017, the region produced the youngest senator, governor and MCA in the country.

Governor Stephen Sang was first elected as a senator at the age of 27 in 2013 and five years later he became the youngest county boss.

The county further produced the youngest legislators, Senator Samson Cherargei and Kilibwoni MCA Cynthia Muge, both at the age of 28 and 24 years old respectively.

“Politics have been a tough and unpredictable journey since I entered into competitive positions in 1997, and my consistent efforts have finally paid in flying the UDA party ticket," Chelulei said.

Speaking in Tindiret constituency tallying centre, Chelulei attributed his victory to his ideal development agenda that gained traction among the locals.

He also beat 14 aspirants in the UDA party primaries, which paved the way to the main August elections.

“In my case, age has never been the factor. The electorate accepted my agenda than the young aspirants competing with me and actually the politics was about issues," he stated.

Narrating his political journey, Chelulei first set his foot in politics in 1997 after briefly serving as a board member for Industrial Property Tribunal in the mid-1990s. 

He battled out for the Tindiret parliamentary seat using the Raila Odinga-led party then, the National Development Party (NDP) and lost to former minister Henry Kosgey.

“In 2013 I returned to politics and vied for the same position using United Democratic Party (URP), the popular in the region, but I didn’t manage. And had to differ my political dream until 2013," he said.

His goal was to give back to society by eliminating poverty and illiteracy. Chelulei was among a few community elites who got the government scholarship to further their education at Makerere University.

“I grew up in a community where literacy was too low and being one of the professionals privileged to go to school, my ambition was to give back to society by providing tea and coffee seedlings to the local farmers, and this has been my initiative in encouraging people to venture to cash crops industry,” he said.

Edwin Kiprop emerged as the youngest Member of the County Assembly elect for Nandi Hills ward.

Kiprop, 24, completed Form Four in Kabote Secondary school in 2017 and proceed for tertiary education where he graduated with a Diploma in General Agriculture in one of the local colleges.

"I had a passion for leadership and I got support from friends and well-wishers in campaigns, and humble background could not deter me from achieving my objectives of representing the youths," he stated.