Wiper's Chome beats Jubilee's Mlolwa in Voi MP race after four attempts

New Voi MP elect Abdi Chome displays his certificate at the Mwangea tallying centre in Taita Taveta County.

After four unsuccessful attempts to become Voi MP, Khamis Chome was finally elected, trouncing the incumbent Jones Mlolwa.

Mr Chome (Wiper) garnered 9,418 votes against 8,426 of Mr Mlolwa (Jubilee).

Mr Chome, 60, was declared the winner on Thursday night at the Mwangea tallying centre.

He first ran for Parliament 25 years ago but made sure he remained relevant in his community.

He started his political career while still in his early 30s and studying civil engineering at the University of Nairobi by backing other politicians in Taita Taveta.

His first attempt at the Voi seat was in 1997, after completing university.

He contested under Kanu and lost to Mr Basil Mwakiringo of the Democratic Party.

In the 2002 General Election, Mr Chome vied again under Nark, emerging second after Mr Boniface Mghanga of Kanu.

In 2007, he joined ODM Kenya and contested against Dan Mwazo of ODM. He took second place.

He then contested in 2013 under The National Alliance (TNA) but lost to Mr Mlolwa (ODM), who has held the seat since.

Even as he contested and lost elections, he stayed active in politics as he planned his next move.

Though he did not want to vie for the seat in this election for fear of losing for the fifth time, voters pushed him to try again.

"I have walked on this journey for 25 years. Unfortunately, I lost my wife so I did not vie in 2017," he said.

But he participated in the 2017 elections by campaigning for the Jubilee Party, which was led by President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto.

For his efforts, the Jubilee administration rewarded him by appointing him director of the Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (Kephis), where he served for three years.

Mr Chome said he believes an MP should serve diligently and work with other leaders for unity.

The father of five thanked his family, which he said was his pillar in his long political journey and among his greatest supporters who helped him win the hotly contested seat.

"I get emotional when I say this but my immediate and extended family have supported me," he said.

Mr Chome also worked for various international humanitarian organisations. He is a farmer and a real estate entrepreneur.

Speaking after receiving his certificate, he said he would bring change and improve the lives of residents.

"I will ensure everybody benefits from my leadership. I will be your servant," he said.

Mr Chome holds a master’s degree in water engineering from the University of Dar es salaam.

Others who were in the race were Michael Mwadime (Pamoja African Alliance), who garnered 3,332 votes, and Albanus Muli (UDA), who received 2,683.

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