By Prudence Minayo
Politicians spend millions of Kenya Shillings to facilitate their campaigns. From paying people who show up for rallies and meetings, food to transportation-it is easy for them to rack up huge debts just to please the electorate. Without financial muscle, it’s nearly impossible to clinch an elective seat in Kenya. A feature on Citizen TV brought the plight of politicians who had lost various elective positions to the fore.
Here are the three politicians as compiled by WoK.
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The advocate with over 15 years experience vied for the West Mugirango parliamentary seat in 2017. His dream to join politics was to foster development in a region where he thought leaders had failed to fulfill their promises. He spent a lot of money campaigning and even his mother felt the burden of politics. She would wake up early in the morning to prepare tea and porridge for people flocking their homestead.
The lawyer said when people see politicians they see money to be spent. He used up so much and at some point could not meet loan payments at the bank for a house he had bought. His house was nearly auctioned and at the end of it, he lost. He stated that he couldn’t even afford to pay school fees for his child.
Today, he does not see himself vying for a political seat any time in the future.
In 2007, she vied for the Mbita Constituency seat and lost. Five years later, she vied for the Homa Bay Township seat and lost once again. In 2017, she lost to Millie Odhiambo and became a nominated MCA in Homabay under the ODM Party ticket. She has also had people flocking her home to be fed and some would come very early and at all times. She had no control of her space.
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In the process, she has spent all her money to the point of taking loans to finance her campaigns. Then comes the pain of losing the seat and asking herself where she went wrong.
Sylvester Bifwoli Wakwoli
The politician was elected in 2007 as Member of Parliament for Bumula Constituency. He then expressed interest in the presidential seat in 2013. He too understands that politics can be draining. He believes that even if one earns a million a month for six years, they could still end up in debt once they decide to join politics.
“The truth is the People you perceive to be millionaires are very poor. If you rob a politician, you will get very little money from him,” he said.
The politician added that parliamentarians are auctioned when they lose an election:
“If you look at the lifestyle of former members of parliament, 90 percent are desolate if not 100 percent ,if you lose an election, after 6 months you will be auctioned, they leave on loans.; my prayer is, never take loan to service the electorate…at the end of the day you know you are going to lose that seat one day.”
He says that politics is also addictive, more addictive than smoking marijuana and should, therefore, not be kept in the head or one could go mad. In politics, even the closest person can be used to finish you and one needs to tread carefully.