Jonathan Bii Chelilim is set to take over the helm of Uasin Gishu after being elected as the second governor of the North Rift based County. Bii, popularly known as ‘Koti Moja’ trounced billionaire Zedekiah Bundotich ‘Buzeki’ after he (Bii) amassed 214036 votes against 127013 garnered by the latter.
The victory put to an end the curse of a trail of losses that Bii had suffered since he threw his hat into the political ring. In fact, he compared himself with former US president Abraham Lincoln whose career had been characterized by several losses before he rose to the presidency. In 1997, Jonathan Bii unsuccessfully squared it out with William Ruto for the Eldoret North parliamentary seat.
The unflinching politician lost again in 2007 and 2013 polls. In 2017, he vied for the Soy parliamentary seat on a KANU ticket but was floored by Caleb Kositany. However, into 2022, he seemed to have established the correct footing by going for the Uasin Gishu gubernatorial seat on a UDA party.
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But there were insurmountable hurdles on his way as the ‘hustler party’ nominations were a cutthroat contest given the county is a well known bedrock of UDA party. There were 7 aspirants who battled out for the party’s flag. Arguably, the winner of the nominations would have a smooth ride to the pinnacle of Uasin Gishu leadership.
As the political heat intensified before the nominations, one of Bii’s opponent decided to despise him by insinuating he was a poor man who owned a single blazer. He labelled him ‘mtu wa koti moja‘.
However, the brainy Jonathan Bii turned ‘Koti Moja’ slur into a political slogan because it resonated well with the hustler narrative that was coined by the UDA party. In the nominations, Mr. Bii instilled a political juggernaut and floored his opponents, thereby getting the chance to fly the UDA flag.
“When I started campaigning for the gubernatorial seat, some of my competitors thought that I was not going anywhere. They said: huyu mtu wa koti moja atafika wapi? But then I turned it into slogan and it is resonating well with the hustlers tag,” explained Bii.
Jonathan Bii Biography
He was born in 1968 in the village of Chemororoch, Soy Constituency that is located on the Uasin Gishu- Kakamega border. Mr. Bii studied at Kapsumbeywet and Kipsomba Primary Schools before joining Arnersens High School for his secondary school education.
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The Uasin Gishu governor matriculated at Sigalagala National Polytechnic for a Diploma in Information Science. He holds an undergraduate Bachelor’s of Arts in Divinity, majoring in counseling from Shalom Bible College and Seminary.
Mr. Bii’s curriculum vitae is further decorated with a Masters of Arts, Project Planning and Management from Kisii University.
From 1996, he served for 10 years in Moi University’s department of Information Science, first in the library before being transferred to the office of dean of students. He left an indelible mark through a program dubbed Moi Academic Outreach that implored locals to enroll for various programmes at Moi University.
As a coordinator for this plan, Mr. Bii got to work with Professor Lonyangapuo, Agriculture CS Peter Munya and other public servants who went on to venture into politics. The Moi Academic Outreach plan turned out to be a success as the overall student enrollment at Moi University increased.