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George Nene: The 22-year-old Elementaita Ward MCA-elect Who Campaigned On Donkey Cart, Had Only One Shirt

The just concluded August 9 general elections thrust new faces into the political limelight.

One notable newcomer is 22-year-old George Nene, an Egerton University graduate who defied all odds to secure the Elementaita Ward MCA position. The young politician who reportedly wore one shirt throughout his campaigns vied on a Safina Party ticket.

He garnered a total of 4,310 votes to win against Nakuru County Assembly Majority Leader and UDA candidate Moses Ndung’u, who assumed office in 2017 after winning the position under a Jubilee ticket.

Like every journey, Nene’s was a difficult road to victory. His bid was initially dismissed by his opponents who ruled him out of the race long before the polls even began. Instead of giving up, he took that as a challenge to prove himself worthy of the seat, and immediately began executing his campaign plan.

However, being an armature at politics, the task of drumming up support and winning votes proved harder than he thought. He regularly had to butt heads with more seasoned politicians who were eyeing the same seat.

With little funds to finance his campaign, Nene started to campaign on a bicycle. However, that further compounded the obstacle that stood before him. In his efforts to traverse the ward looking for votes, a few of his friends began to slowly buy into the idea that he would clinch the seat. Some even financially supported his cause.

“I was using a bicycle to campaign and it was quite difficult to move around because of the poor roads which got even worse when it rained. One of my friends gave me a generator and public announcement system to use while campaigning but the problem was that I had no means to ferry them across the ward or buy fuel for the said generator,” Nene said in a recent interview with Citizen Digital.

Another friend of his even gave him a donkey and a cart (mkokoteni) to use on the campaign trail.

“Another of my acquaintances however gave me his mkokoteni, which I fitted with the PA systems and generator which I used on the campaign trail. I thought about getting a vehicle but I couldn’t afford one,” he explained.

His drive and motive to enter politics was his urge to change the situation of the residents of Elementaita ward. According to Nene, the issues plaguing the ward include perennial water shortages, poor roads, understocked hospitals and misappropriation of funds set aside for the less fortunate in society, among many others.

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