Just moments after being cleared by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to join the list of 11 vying for the Mautuma Ward seat, Dan Juma Wafula already had a plan ahead despite being limited in resources compared to his monied opponents.
Vying on an independent ticket, Juma, a former student at the Lugari Kenya Medical Training College (KMTC), thought it affordable and at his disposal (though pretty inefficient) to use a cart pulled by two oxen to traverse the ward in search of votes.
He says his friend, who drives him, lent him the oxen and cart as a show of support.
A youthful medic hailing from a poor background but with a vision to sit in the Kakamega County Assembly discussing heavy issues affecting people from his backyard, Mr. Juma says financial constraints are not a setback to him yet.
“I am a youth, yes, without the much-needed resources or the political muscle, but that doesn’t block me from being of service to the people,” he tells the Western Kenya Times.
He adds that his medical experience will ensure that the people of Mautuma receive better health care in facilities throughout the ward.
“I will put health services first in Mautuma because I believe health is wealth. I will do so by lobbying for health services in the three dispensaries across the ward,” he said.
He goes on to say that he will put up measures to improve other infrastructure, the education sector through equitable allocation of bursaries, and rally for youth empowerment through capacity building.
His ultimate dream is to come up with a foundation, called the Juma Foundation, which he says will be a long-lasting initiative geared toward helping the vulnerable in his community.
The ambitious politician, who is trying his luck in the murky world of politics, says he encounters challenges while hunting for votes, such as the pressure of giving handouts.
“The culture of handouts is so rampant that I have to cope with the pressure of residents who look at me suggestively after I finish speaking to them. My policy is to teach them how to fish rather than give them the fish,” he said.
Mr. Juma has a hurdle against incumbent Stephen Mulonga, vying under the ANC ticket, Charles Anyona of the UDP and Salim Namusasi of ODM, among other candidates.
Tom Lutali is a seasoned scribe based in Lugari Sub-County in Kakamega County who writes human interest stories and sports for WKT.