What you need to know:
- More than 30 aspirants from the two dominant communities of Keiyo and Marakwet have expressed interest in the seat and all have announced intention to vie on a UDA ticket
- The eders said she has the mien to fill in Murkomen’s big shoes perfectly because she is vocal and would keep the county and the country high on the map
Vocal activist Jerotich Seei has received a major boost after elders from her Kaplegenui clan gave their blessings in her quest to succeed lawyer Kipchumba Murkomen as Elgeyo Marakwet Senator.
It happened as the the race to succeed the now Transport Cabinet Secretary continue continued to get tighter, with the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) party election board slating the by-elections candidates’ nomination exercise for November 26.
A notice dated November 7 signed by National Election board chairman Anthony Mwaura indicates that the nomination will be held in Elgeyo Marakwet, (Senate) Kandara (MP) and in Shella ward in Lamu (ward rep) position.
In Elgeyo Marakwet, more than 30 aspirants from the two dominant communities of Keiyo and Marakwet have expressed interest in the seat and all have announced intention to vie on a UDA ticket.
Traditional instruments of power
On Friday elders form the Kaplegenui clan led by Major Wilson Chesire and Peter Rono gave Ms Seei, a vocal activist prominent in the ‘Linda Katiba caucus’,’ the traditional leadership regalia, as they endorsed her quest for the seat.
Ms Alice Kurui gave Ms Seei, the daughter to veteran politician Tabitha Seei a palm tree branch (sosiot) as a sign that she was ripe for the county leadership.
“She has accomplished a lot for the country and the community in her lead role in the fall of Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) because she was part of the team who went to court to challenge the glamour for constitutional change. She has experience of championing for the rights of ordinary people and we believe she will achieve more,” said Major Chesire.
“She has the mien to fill in Murkomen’s big shoes perfectly because she is vocal and would keep the county and the country high on the map. She also has a global and national outlook that would be an asset for the county in term of networks and opportunities,” she stated.
Major Chesire said they were proud that she has carried on the leadership qualities instilled in her from a young age and thanked her parents for raising her well.
Mr Rono explained that the blessing was a sign of releasing her to seek the Senate seat in service of all the people of Elgeyo Marakwet county.
“She is a woman with all the qualities of a leader and despite being given a ‘sosiot’ as a symbol of leadership and authority, we offered - both traditional and Christian prayers,” he said.
Ms Kurui said as women they will rally behind Ms Seii because she is the only woman who has demonstrated to be fearless in championing for what is right for the community.
“Leadership is not a preserve of men and we are happy to have one of our own to lead the county because we believe Mr Murkomen set the par high and its only Ms Seii who has demonstrated to be his peer in character and oratory skills,” she said,
Reached for comment by Nation.Africa, Ms Seei she was elated by the elders’ endorsement which was a demonstration in her leadership capability.
“The blessings are all I needed and since I have been set free by my community. I can now traverse the county seeking votes. I have what it takes to fill in Murkomen shoes and I will prove critics who dismisses a woman leader wrong,” she said.
She said she has been vocal in agitating on issues affecting Kenya and she is confident that she will clinch the seat.
Others who have declared their bids for the seat include entrepreneur Dan Ruto aka D-square, Daniel Kipkemoi aka Damboi, George Bett, Abigael Jerotich, Gladys Maiyo, Jesca Kiplagat aka Chebomuren, Florence Jepkosgei aka Toto, Anne Cheboi, lawyers Hillary Cheboi and Kiprop Marrirmoi.
Two time MPs William Kisang (Marakwet West), politician Lawrance Mutwol, former speaker Albert Kochei, incumbent Soy South MCA Jonah Tanui, menthorthon president and entrepreneur Tim Kipchumba and the latest entrant is Marakwet branch KNUT executive secretary John Cheberi will be in the race.