By Prudence Minayo
Alfred Keter is the current Member of Parliament for Nandi Hills Constituency since 2013. He is a courageous legislator who is known to speak his mind, the consequences notwithstanding.
Background and Education
He was brought up in Ollessos Village, Nandi county in a family of six children- four boys and two girls.
The second-term MP attended Cheplelachbei Primary School before proceeding to Kapsabet High School where he sat for his O-levels. The legislator was notorious for organising many strikes in the institution. While he was a Form one, he mobilized students to engage in a strike that earned him a one week suspension. In Form 3, he sneaked out of the school to make merry with his friends and was once again suspended. He was eventually expelled in form four after an argument with a cook over food. This forced him to write the KCSE outside of school.
Nonetheless, he performed well and was admitted at Egerton University where he was expelled in his second year for leading a strike. He went to court to challenge his expulsion but the university withdrew from the case and he was reinstated.
In his third year, he was elected vice chairman and then became chairman following the expulsion of the chairman. He was later expelled following another strike that saw the institution shut for a while.
After being expelled, he teamed up with other university students to campaign for former president Mwai Kibaki, who promised to reinstate them. When Mwai Kibaki became president, suspended students were reinstated and he went back and completed his degree.
Upon completing university, he went back to the village before finally moving to Nairobi where he started doing business. At one point, he worked as a tout before becoming manager of Eastleigh number nine matatus.
In 2007, he vied for the Starehe Constituency parliamentary seat but lost. Not one to give up, he vied for the Nandi Constituency parliamentary seat in 2013 under the TNA party and won.
In 2017, he successfully defended his seat.
In 2015, a video of him threatening police officers manning Gilgil Weighbridge on Nairobi- Nakuru highway circulated online. He was reportedly in the company of nominated MP Sonia Birdi, whose truck had been detained because it lacked an exemption permit as stipulated by the law.
In 2016, he locked heads with the Jubilee administration accusing them of corruption. He even warned that if Jubilee failed to check the widespread corruption, they would lose the 2017 general elections. He announced he had quit the party.
“You can quote me on this. Anyone you see supporting Jubilee is either stupid or corrupt. The other name of Jubilee is corruption and you cannot describe corruption in Kenya without calling it Jubilee. I mean Jubilee and corruption are one and the same,” He told the media.
He later made amends with the party and defended his seat under the Jubilee party ticket
Following the win, together with three other legislators defied a directive to relinquish their positions in the National Assembly Committees and he was later voted out by Jubilee Members of Parliament.
In February 2018, he was arrested alongside two businessmen for allegedly forging treasury bills worth Sh633 million. They were charged with 11 counts including forgery and conspiracy to defraud Central Bank of Kenya Sh282 million. He denied these allegations terming them as a political witch-hunt. He claimed to have been targeted due to his political stand.
Plans to unseat Keter
The tough talking legislator faces an acid test in the forthcoming elections. According to the Standard newspaper, locals have already identified a successor and gone a step further by raising kes1.6 million to go towards his campaign kitty. 3O year old Wesley Kogo is the man to watch. He told the daily of the endorsement by the villagers:
“I knew I would be a leader but not this soon. I just graduated from the university and wanted to focus on my career. The idea of politics was not in my mind. However, the elders and residents have promised to support me and have already raised some money to jumpstart my campaigns,”
“To my surprise, hundreds of residents turned up and generously contributed towards my campaigns.”