The rise and rise of Nyakundi, new UDA treasurer

UDA national treasurer Mr Japheth Nyakundi. 

Photo credit: Pool.

When Kitutu Chache North Member of Parliament Japheth Nyakundi was appointed the treasurer of ruling party United Democratic Alliance (UDA) on Monday, many Kenyans wondered who the young man was.

The 33-year-old first time lawmaker wormed his way to the heart and trust of President William Ruto to secure a plum position in the ruling party. It’s a first, because most parties settle on older men and women for such a task.

This position is expected to place Mr Nyakundi at the heart of Gusii politics, as well as in the entire country.

The legislator was elected to Parliament on a UDA ticket in the 2022 General election, beating seasoned politicians, among them Jimmy Angwenyi (Jubilee) and Moi era tycoon Geoffrey Asanyo (ODM).

Kisii residents say he is a lucky man after he won the hotly contested seat on his first attempt in politics.

Mr Nyakundi is a businessman based in Nairobi. He went to Kisii School then joined the United States International University, in Kenya, for a degree in international business administration, graduating in 2011.

He has been mandated, together with others from the region, with popularising the ruling party in his Gusii backyard and across the country.

Replaces Omingo Magara

Mr Nyakundi took over the UDA treasurer position from former South Mugirango MP Omingo Magara, who also hails from Kisii County. Mr Magara resigned a few months to the August 9 elections and joined Azimio la Umoja-One Kenya coalition.

Mr Nyakundi said he will do everything in his power to popularise UDA in Gusii, though the region is largely pro-Azimio.

He thanked President Ruto for his appointment, noting that, it goes to show the trust the President has in young people.

“It shows the President trusts young people and is ready to mentor us and build a unifying and truly national party. The President has shown that he wants to work with every Kenyan … even those whom he didn't get their votes, their voices matter.”

He added: “The promotion shows that the President has good plans for the community. It also shows it is a national party and for all of us, men and women, young and old, each community belongs to the government.”

The lawmaker added, “I urge my community to support the President's agenda. I will work both at the national and regional level to ensure that the UDA mandate is delivered. I will keep my promises to my constituents.”

He explained that he will be working with other leaders to deliver the Kenya Kwanza Alliance manifesto and implement the bottom-up economic approach to Gusii residents.

“As a party, we received considerable support from Gusii, and we will be implementing the President's manifesto and deliver on the promises. Gusii as a region has a lot of potential. We want to focus on agriculture, lift up farmers, ensure they get good returns on their produce, especially in tea and coffee,” said Mr Nyakundi.

He said the party is committed to improving and maintaining good education standards and achieving the 100 per cent transition from primary to secondary school, and on to tertiary level.

“We will be adding more tertiary institutions in line with the President's commitment. We are also working on infrastructure, ensuring that all homes and schools are connected to electricity and improving the road network. That is the spirit of bottom-up,” he noted.