MCAs who fought 'tooth and nail' to retain seats

Keiyo North UDA MP-elect Adams Kipsanai celebrates at St. Patricks High School after winning the parliamentary seat. [Christopher Kipsang, Standard]

Just like members of the National Assembly, the General Election has been a mixed bag for members of the 47 county assemblies.

The hotly-contested polls saw some fall by the wayside; others got a lifeline while a new breed of legislators was birthed.

In North Rift, most of the members failed to defend their seats.

Nandi assembly will have 26 new members after only four managed to secure re-election in the county that has 30 wards.

In the neighbouring Uasin Gishu County, only eight out of 30 MCAs managed to defend their seats while in Elgeyo Marakwet, only two of the 20 MCAs made a comeback.

In Nandi, the experience made an impact as those retained have served more than two terms.

Wilson Sang, 42, of Chepkumia ward, retained his seat and is going for his fourth term in the assembly.

Sang’s journey in the legislative body started when he was nominated by Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) in 2007 to the then Nandi County Council.

Before his nomination, he had served at the local Koibem primary school for seven years as an untrained teacher.

His star rose when he contested and was elected on a URP ticket in 2013 and was subsequently picked by members to be chief whip until 2014 when he was elected the assembly’s deputy speaker.

Sang again vied in 2017 and was elected on a Jubilee ticket and continued serving as deputy speaker.

He sought UDA nomination and sailed through in April and subsequently, got elected and was issued his certificate as he started his fourth term.

“I will be the longest serving MCA and will be glad to receive new members in readiness to deliver services diligently to the electorates,” Sang told The Standard yesterday.

He added: “I expect the next assembly to be united and also optimistic the national government will disburse devolved funds timely to enable the assembly to enhance development after the setbacks of the Covid-19 pandemic and national political wrangles witnessed in the last term.”

Other long-serving members are African National Congress (ANC) members Eliud Kirongo (Kapkangani) and Geoffrey Kevolwe (Kiptuya) both of whom were going for their third terms, while Walter Teno (Kabiyet) was re-elected on UDA for the second term.

The assembly also saw the election of two women – Truphosa Kuto, who was nominated in the last term, but was elected for Kemeloi/Maraba ward on UDA and Independent MCA Sarah Keino (Kosirai).

Sang said the assembly will be prompted to nominate more women to meet the gender threshold.

In the neighbouring Uasin Gishu County assembly, 22 members out of 30 will be serving for the first time after seven managed to retain their seats, while one MCA Mary Goreti Boroswa Ruto, who was nominated managed to be elected on UDA.

The assembly will have two female members after Sarah Malel, also of UDA, was elected in Kimumu ward.

“The election was competitive and difficult to understand dynamics used by voters in choosing their representatives. Some who had performed well were voted out despite being in popular parties, while others were lucky to clinch the positions. We are happy the entire process was peaceful,” said David Keitany (Sergoit) who was elected for the second term.

Keitany added that some hard-working MCAs might have lost after the electorates just decided to end their terms and give new people the opportunity to occupy the positions.

In Elgeyo Marakwet, only two out of the 20 MCAs managed to retain their seats.

The assembly will have 18 new elected legislators on top of those who will be nominated to enable the body to meet the constitutional threshold.