Is this the youngest MCA in Kenya?

Timothy Muriuki

Timothy Mutwiri, 21, who was elected as Kiegoi/Antubochiu ward MCA in Igembe South constituency, Meru County.

Photo credit: Charles Wanyoro I Nation Media Group

A 21-year-old casual labourer could be Kenya’s youngest MCA after he defeated a strong field to clinch the Kiegoi/Antubochiu ward seat in Igembe South constituency, Meru County.

Mr Timothy Mutwiri’s win again propelled to the national limelight the constituency that in 2017 attracted attention after producing the youngest MP, John Paul Mwirigi.

The Form Four leaver, who hails from Itumi village whose main cash crops are miraa and tea, garnered 2,901 votes to beat a rich field of 20 renowned politicians.

Among those felled by Mr Mutwiri was outgoing MCA Ithibua Kimathi and former MCA Henry Mworia, who was once chairman of the defunct Nyambene county council.

Nicknamed “Kaba Ko” (he’s the best option), Mr Mutwiri captured the hearts of residents, creating a cult-like wave that propelled him to victory.

The former construction worker said he was bitten by the political bug in Standard Eight. He shared his dream with his dismissive adolescent classmates that he would one day contest a political seat.

His ambition was boosted in 2017 when Mr Mwirigi, then a greenhorn, contested and won the Igembe South parliamentary seat.

“We would even skip school and join John Paul on the campaign trail, hiding in the shadows and I got motivated. He has been my mentor and role model, although he does not know me,” he reveals.

As the 2022 polls drew closer, Mr Mutwiri resolved to kick off his campaign for the ward seat even before he registered as a voter.

However, he did not first seek his parents’ blessings as he embarked on vote hunting, because he felt they would discourage him.

“I started attending public functions, where I would solicit votes. My parents were shocked to see me sharing platforms with other politicians,” he recounts.

His mother, Jerusha Makena, who ekes out a living picking tea in the area admits that they had earlier discouraged him from engaging in politics, insisting that he first go to university.

“I told him that most politicians are people with a lot of money, education and other resources and he had none. I was later shocked to see the number of people who were following [him]. I would urge parents not to demotivate their children who have dreams,” she says.

Mr Mutwiri is married to his high school sweetheart Juster Kagwiria and they have one child.

Mr Benson Kaigongi, a local boda boda rider, said fellow operators vowed to support Mr Mutwiri with the hope that he would listen to them once he was elected.

“We used to be beaten up and insulted for supporting the young man. but we stayed firm and prayed to God,” he says.

Mr Morris Ngiri, a resident, said he learnt about the wave of support for Mr Mutwiri when he was in Nairobi and decided to back him.

As Mr Mutwiri awaits to be sworn in, residents are already piling demands, hoping he will help with such things as grading roads.

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