By Prudence Minayo
Peter Salasya made headlines after beating political bigwigs to clinch the Mumias East Constituency seat. Unlike his opponents who conducted grandiose campaigns and splurged millions, his was a much simpler affair. He did not even have enough money to print and distribute his posters. Instead, he made use of the resources at his disposal. With the aid of a friend, he wrote his name on rocks advertising his intent. He also made it his priority to attend as many burials in the village as possible and conduct door to door campaigns. Some thought him mad but he had the last laugh.
Here is his story as told by WoK.
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Background and Education
The first-time member of parliament was born in a village in Mumias known as Kisumu Ndogo. He is the second last born in a family of seven children.
After sitting for his KCPE in 2005 at Shianderema Primary School, he joined Lubinu Boys High School. He lost his father while he was in Form two. He would get sent home numerous times over school fees arrears while his mother struggled to get the money.
After high school, he joined Egerton University and vied for the Director of Academics seat but suffered a huge blow as he came last. In his own words, he was defeated even by the weakest candidate. Later, he vied for the student leadership position and won. He left the University with a Bachelor of Commerce degree.
Employment and Politics
He was employed as an operational officer at Diamond Trust Bank but left the position to join politics. After his loss, he had to start afresh. He found a teaching job where he earned Sh13,000 which was not much once rent and other expenses were paid for. Hence, when he chose to vie for a political seat in 2022, he had no money. His salary could not be enough to sustain his campaigns. He did not even fit the mold of most politicians as he neither had a family nor a house. In fact, he had to rally people from his constituency to help him make his semi-permanent home.
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Eugene Wamalwa came to his aid with his DAP party and gave him the party ticket to run as an MP. Peter Salasya, on the other hand, stayed focused and knew while money was his weakness, he was a good orator. He used words to woo people from the constituency to vote for him.
“I was told that one would need between Sh20 to Sh30 million to mount a serious campaign. There was no way I could raise that amount just like I could not buy the talk of stepping out of the race for lack of money. I bought some paint and with the help of volunteers painted virtually all stones in the constituency with my name,” Salasya told the Standard.
The 32-year-old garnered 12,140 votes with his close competitor Mr. Wamatsi garnering 9,043 votes. It was a delightful shock for Salasya who had failed miserably in his first bid for the seat in 2017. At the time, he came last, only managing to get 254 votes. He felt rejected but like any other person with a passion for politics he successfully tried again in the August 9 elections.
For the next five years, Peter Salasya has promised to represent his people and elevate the level of education. He believes the one equalizer between the poor man and rich man is education. He has also promised a number of things including providing electricity for those who don’t have it.
The parliamentarian is sorely focused on his constituency and has no immediate plans to marry. He told Nairobi News that his girlfriend deserted him after he lost the previous elections. She told him to go play with his fellow children as he couldn’t manage her bills.
“I loved her so much but when I went to get her back from the man’s house she asked me to leave and go play with my age mates as I could sustain her lifestyle,” Salasya told Nairobi News.