The story of Peter Salasya, the new Mumias East Member of Parliament, is the perfect paragon of a rise from grass to grace.
The 32-year-old is one of the few lucky youths who defied the odds to emerge victorious in the August 9 general election, beating moneyed politicians who have been in the game for decades.
In a classic case of a dream come true, Salasya took oath of office with over 300 other MP-elects at parliament buildings on Thursday, September 8, joining a list of the youngest MPs in the 13 Parliament.
Speaking to a local media station moments before the ceremony, the legislator, elected on a Democratic Action Party – Kenya (DAP-K) ticket, said the victory didn’t come easy. He disclosed that he has nurtured the dream for nearly a decade, failing severally.
The second-last child in a family of six unsuccessfully contested for the Mumias East parliamentary seat in the 2017 general election, finishing last with a measly 254 votes.
However, the Commerce graduate says this was not his first defeat in life. He first tasted defeat while a freshman at Egerton University where he contested for the Entertainment docket.
“Everyone I approached promised they would vote for me only to finish last in the polls,” he said amid laughter.
The experience encouraged him to launch a second bid for the Mumias East MP seat in 2022.
Unlike his competitors, the MP recounts, he didn’t mount an expensive campaign due to financial constraints having lost his bank job at Diamond Trust Bank after the 2017 poll defeat.
Broke MP candidate
With a low-paying teaching job at Sigalagala National Polytechnic, the politician had to seek help from locals to put up a semi-permanent house in his village after a humiliating onslaught from his competitors that he didn’t have a house of his own.
The candidate, who relied on boda boda to move around during the campaign period, also got help from Defence Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa, who offered him a vehicle to help him with his campaigns after defecting from the ODM party.
He garnered 12,140 votes to win the Mumias East race. His main challenger David Wamatsi of Amani National Congress (ANC) party came second with 9,043 votes while Benson Mapwoni, who had been endorsed by immediate Mumias MP Benjamin Washiali, finished third with 5,118 votes.
“I only got this seat because people related with my manifesto that touched on issues affecting them,” the lively politician says adding that he is still broke and had only Ksh500 when he took the oath of office.
He looks forward to not only increasing his financial fortunes but also changing the lives of the people who trust in his leadership.
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