After more than 20 years of trying his luck in elective politics, Jonathan Chelilim Bii alias 'Koti Moja' finally clinched the Uasin Gishu gubernatorial seat.
He garnered 214,036 votes against 127,013 votes of his main challenger Zedekiah Bundotich alias Buzeki who vied as an independent candidate.
Mr Bii plunged into politics in 1997 to contest against Mr William Ruto-now Deputy President and the Kenya Kwanza Presidential flag bearer for the Eldoret North parliamentary seat but lost the race.
The determined politician was on it again in subsequent general elections before the constituency was split into Soy and Turbo in 2013, but still luck was not on his side.
He was at it again in 2017 on a Kanu ticket when he lost to Caleb Kositany.
Despite the disappointing defeats, Mr Bii took a bold step and plunged in the race to succeed Jackson Mandago for the top seat in the cosmopolitan Uasin Gishu County in this year’s General Election.
The name ‘Koti Moja’ was meant to be a derogatory term by his opponents to disparage him as someone with no means claiming that he had only one coat.
But as the Bible says, whatever the enemy means for evil, God means it for good. He made lemonade out of the lemon.
“I took the name and owned it and fortunately it resonated well with the electorate and my manifesto,” said Mr Bii in an interview prior to be declared the gubernatorial winner.
During the UDA primaries in April, he garnered 71,152 votes against his close competitor Ambassador Julius Bitok who scored 59,001 votes, to secure the ticket that would finally usher him into an elective office.
His main opponent, Buzeki was also making his second attempt at the county's top seat after losing to the outgoing Governor Mandago with 82,869 votes, against 126,681 in Jubilee Party primaries in the last election.
Time to work
Mr Bii has promised the residents that his administration will not sideline any part of the county noting that it is now time to work for the people.
According to County IEBC Returning Officer Irene Mutai, 350,407 out of 506,138 registered voters representing 69.65 percent voted on August 9,2022.
Following the victory, Mr Bii is now expected to control Sh10.1 billion budget according to the 2022/2023 financial estimates.
The devolved unit is expected to receive Sh8 billion this financial year from the national government under the shareable revenue.
It anticipates to get Sh700 million grants and Sh1.4 billion from own resources.
According to the budget estimates, it plans to allocate Sh2.7 million to the health sector, Sh2.4 billion to public administration and Sh1.9 billion to infrastructure.
Agriculture and rural development sector will receive Sh1.9 billion while Education will receive Sh1.1 billion.