Three months since her fairytale story that catapulted her from the dusty villages of Bomet to the comfy neighbourhoods of Nairobi, Bomet County Women Representative Linet Chepkorir alias Toto faced a lineup of beautiful, classy and elegant educated women, and now, some of the antics she had to resort to are surfacing.
With the incumbent, Joyce Korir, who would have paused the biggest danger to the rest having set her guns on the Bomet Central parliamentary seat, the county’s Women Representative office was up for grabs.
Then nominated Senator and Education Committee chairperson Alice Milgo was the latest to throw her hat in the woman rep ring, which boasted of a mix of youthful and elderly contestants.
Apart from Milgo, 33-year-old Irene Cherotich Terer of the Chama Cha Mashinani (CCM) was another of the contestants.
Whoever emerged victorious was to face off with a UDA candidate, among those from parties, at the August 9 ballot, so the stakes were high.
“I am confident of bagging the support of CCM supporters in the primaries and proceed to deliver the woman representative position in the general election. I have the experience and all it takes to represent the people of this great county (Bomet),” declared Dr Milgo at the time.
Ms Terer, a former Kenya Power employee, was banking on the youth to deliver her the coveted victory.
“Empowerment of women in Bomet County has not been felt on the ground in the last 10 years… It is time to tweak the coin and impress upon the voters to elect youthful leaders for a change. It should be a change for the better,” said Ms Terer.
The UDA ticket was the most sought. Among those in the race for the UDA flag were Ms Saida Stacey Chepkemoi, who, in April 2017, made history as the youngest nominee to the East African Legislative Assembly. She was later dropped from the final list submitted by the Jubilee administration.
Ms Chepkemoi was the first female youth aspirant for Bomet senator ahead of the last general election. She came third in the Jubilee Party nomination with 29,450 votes.
“If elected, I will decentralise resources and ensure the Sh35 million National Government Affirmative Action Fund (NGAAF) cash is evenly distributed in the five sub-counties of Sotik, Chepalungu, Bomet East, Bomet Central and Konoin” said Ms Chepkemoi.
“We need to demystify the woman representative position as one that also deals with both gender as it has, unfortunately, been made a women’s affair, yet men should also be taken on board.”
In the face of all this, Toto, who was the youngest, held door to door campaigns, and while the race went around in fuel guzzlers, she moved around on a bodaboda. These unconventional tactics would later help her clinch the seat.
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