Four months ago, Isiolo Governor Mohamed Kuti announced an early exit from active politics, citing health concerns, and endorsed Nairobi Majority Leader Abdi Ibrahim Hassan Guyo as his preferred successor.
As campaigns intensified, Dr Kuti, who has been in elective office over the last 20 years, worked behind the scenes to popularise the Matopeni Spring Valley MCA against his predecessor Godana Doyo, who is seeking comeback as an independent candidate.
After announcing that he had quit politics, Governor Kuti literary “kept off” the county as several issues including casual workers’ salary protests went unresolved, an indication that he was packing and ready to leave after the August 9 elections.
Broke his legs
Two months later, he broke his legs following an accident at his home, rendering him immobile. Reports indicate that he fell while walking down stairs.
When Kenyans took to the polling stations on Tuesday morning to cast their votes, no one would have envisaged seeing a “sick” governor struggling to a polling station on wheelchair to vote.
As dozens of voters waited to exercise their civic duty at Isiolo Boys polling Secondary School polling station, a white Toyota Prado vehicle arrived and parked next to the station’s entrance around 10.20am.
Two men, whom police later learnt were bodyguards, and a woman, had accompanied a man whom the voters would later learn was their governor.
His security detail had first approached one of the IEBC officials to have Dr Kuti vote while inside the vehicle but the request was declined.
“The bodyguards lifted him from the vehicle to the wheelchair and one of them helped him to the polling station where he was excused and allowed to vote (due to his condition),” one of the voters told Nation.
Seemingly weak and mostly using gestures, Governor Kuti marked the ballot papers and dropped them into the boxes before leaving the polling centre.
Did not recognise him
"I personally did not recognise him because I last saw him walking and lively. It never crossed my mind that I would meet the governor in such a state,” one of the voters who was at the polling station while the leader was brought in revealed.
While one of the bodyguards helped him through the process, the other took a few pictures of the veteran politician, possibly casting the vote in favour of the man he wants to take over from him.
Surprisingly, quite a number of the people at the polling station learnt that the man on a wheelchair was the outgoing governor minutes after he had left.
“It shows how much he wants the Jubilee candidate to take over from him. I wish him quick recovery,” said Mr Samson Kimeru.
Some of his communication officers whom Nation revealed that they were not aware that the leader would have appeared at the polling station to vote.
“Who would have expected him (Kuti) to travel from Nairobi to Isiolo in such a state?” one of them asked.
While many may feel the struggle was not worth it due to his health condition, lessons learnt from the gesture are worthwhile.