Youth ditch their ambition and give way to seasoned politicians in poll

Charles Matoke's supporters on the campaign trail in  Magombo, Nyamira County. [Sammy Omingo, Standard]

The ongoing party consensus within UDA and ANC has led to the shelving of ambitions among a number of young politicians from Kisii.

They include Mr Charles Matoke and Mr Okengo Nyambane who were eyeing governor and senate seats respectively.

Mr Matoke is the ANC deputy party leader and had paid for the party primaries, hoping to succeed Kisii Governor Mr James Ongwae.

He will now be supporting Nyaribari Masaba MP Ezekiel Machogu, who is flying the UDA party flag in the gubernatorial race; a decision reached through consensus.

 Mr Matoke is a businessman and a former officer with the US Army. He was already becoming a brand in Kisii politics, participating in various social activities, including organising one of the most successful events; ‘Matoke Football Tournament’.

He served as the Automated Logistical Specialist in the US Army and recently became a president and cofounder of CMB Logistics USA; a clearing and forwarding company.

The 35-year-old is son of former Knut powerful branch secretary Christopher Matoke (deceased).

On dropping his bid, Mr Matoke said he knew there were many, especially youth, women, and the elderly, who might feel abandoned and begin to despair. “When a man’s vision is clear, he appreciates that a good vision is always bigger than the man. I have started a journey and in the fullness of time, it will deliver the hope that we hold dear. Every organisation has its vision bearer, and Kenya Kwanza is no exception.”

He said the long walk through the nomination process had tested his mettle in many ways, and the most tested of his traits was the ability to play in a team and deliver victory on its behalf. “Victories are not won only in the game; they are first won in the fielding – the line-up. The coalition leadership has seen something in me that I did not know existed – the ability to play at national level.”

He said that besides working hard on ensuring a Machogu victory, he would help flap the wings of Kenya Kwanza nationally, in close coordination with his party leader Mr Musalia Mudavadi and help Deputy President William Ruto win.

Despite having a good network, Mr Okengo also dropped his bid in favour of Deputy Governor Joash Maangi, who will be flying the UDA party ticket for the Senate seat.

Mr Okengo said the journey to have the right UDA party structures in Kisii County and Kenya was progressing.

“The unity exhibited in other parts has been a major motivation that consensus is guiding the future of democracy in the country. We have been greatly honoured by our party leader.