Alfred Mutai: Charcoal Seller Who Trounced Rift Valley Bigwig To Clinch MP Seat

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Alfred Mutai: Charcoal Seller Who Trounced Rift Valley Bigwig To Clinch MP Seat
Kuresoi North MP-Elect Alfred Mutai receives a certificate from IEBC returning officer Alice Okoth at Mau Summit Primary School on Thursday morning, August 11, 2022. |Courtesy| The Nation|

Kenya held its general elections on August 9, 2022, and as tallying winds up in some of the designated Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) centres across the country, a number of political bigwigs had been sent packing by end of day August 10.

The elections also brought about a number of history makers and inspirational stories; women have been elected in areas that have historically never elected women, some have retained seats in areas where historically lawmakers have served for only one term since independence, and we have had some of the youngest parliamentarians elected, among others.

WoK in this article takes a look at Kuresoi North Constituency where the electorate sent to parliament a man who grew up burning and selling charcoal to earn a living.

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Alfred Mutai won the Kuresoi North parliamentary contest on a United Democratic Alliance (UDA) ticket beating the incumbent, former National Assembly Deputy Speaker Moses Cheboi.

Alfred Mutai: Charcoal Seller Who Trounced Rift Valley Bigwig To Clinch MP Seat
Kuresoi North MP-Elect Alfred Mutai poses with his certificate at Mau Summit Primary School on Thursday morning, August 11, 2022. |Courtesy| Citizen Digital|

Background

Mutai was born and raised in Kaplong, Bomet County. He is a fourth born among nine children.

The newly elected lawmaker was forced to juggle between academics and various other hustles after his parents died in 2001 while he was in Form One.

Following his parents’ demise, he began illegally burning charcoal at Kuresoi Forest to raise school fees.

“Losing a parent at a young age was not easy. It forced me to work at a tender age to join hands with my elder siblings to support the others and also so that I (could earn) money for my school fees, but luckily I completed my studies after hustling all through,” he told the Nation in a previous interview.

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At one time, he was arrested after forest rangers were tipped off by members of the public that he had harvested over 1,000 tree logs from Kuresoi Forest.
Mutai was remanded at the Nakuru GK Prison and later released after he could not post bail and allowed to served 6 months of probation.

“I knew the business was illegal but I had no alternative. I needed to go to school myself and my siblings were also studying, but I thank the magistrate for hearing me out during mitigation before sentencing,” he explained.

Political Career
Mutahi, a ‘hustler’ was elected as a Member of the Nakuru County Assembly (MCA) for Sirikwa Ward in 2017.
He contested the Kuresoi North parliamentary seat on a UDA ticket in the August 9, 2022, General Elections and beat the incumbent, Cheboi.
Constituency Returning Officer Lilian Akoth declared Mutai the new MP on Thursday morning, August 11, after he garnered 25,365 beating the other four candidates. Cheboi came second with 20,395 votes followed by Joel Ayeni (2,435) and Joyce Chepkemoi (567).
Addressing the media after receiving his certificate at Mau Summit Secondary School, Mutai thanked his supporters for electing him to represent them in parliament.
He assured his constituents that he will put their interests first and fight to improve their living standards through better infrastructure, employment and education, among others.

“It has not been an easy journey since we started vote-hunting. The competition was tough, but we conducted our campaigns well and peacefully. The electorate voted for me because of my manifesto,” he said.

“I want to tell everyone out there that there is God and what He has planned for you, no one can change.

“We want to transform this country’s economy and bring down the cost of living which has left many Kenyans struggling to survive,” he added.

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