WILFRED BUNGEI: RUN FOR BUNGE, VOTERS TELL BUNGEI
WILFRED BUNGEI / “The call from the people for Bungei to run came as no surprise... he is the only top athlete who remained in his native village while others migrated to the comfort of their mansions in Eldoret.”
After conquering the world on the track, Wilfred Bungei has set his eyes on yet another important mission.
An animated public in his village in Emgwen Constituency has forced the 2008 Olympics 800m gold medalist to abandon his well-earned retirement.
They want him to represent them in Parliament in place of the ever-absent incumbent MP Alex Kosgey.
“I have a lot of energy for the task,” says the track king, confirming that he is firmly in the race for the Emgwen parliamentary seat.
“Emgwen has a lot of potential but the people feel abandoned because of an MP who is neither in the constituency nor is he hardly ever in Parliament.
“His leadership is not being felt by the people.”
It is precisely because of these challenges that Bungei has found himself a subject of discussion in a community that feels alienated by a leader they overwhelmingly elected in 2013.
So excited is the electorate that the moniker of “acting MP” is already being thrown in the way of the champion as an expression of their displeasure with the MP.
The MP’s disappearing act has left the champion with no option but to honour the wish of the majority of residents.
“I have all that is required to provide leadership in the constituency. I am in the prime of youth and I have the ideas and the will to transform the constituency.”
The call from the people for Bungei to run came as no surprise.
First, he is the only top athlete who remained in his native village after hitting the big time while others migrated to the comfort of their mansions in Eldoret, Nairobi and other cities.
Secondly, he has a history of helping the community in the best way he can. With his co-runner William Yiampoy, they constructed Kiptaragon Academy in Nandi with their own resources as one way of giving back to the community.
He has also connected his village to the national electricity grid and used his resources to connect electricity in other people’s homes.
“Leadership is about influencing the people and given an opportunity I can do more,” he says.
From the track Bungei transitioned into business - in the hospitality industry. The business provided a serious challenge to him. “It was an unknown field for me, but, through God’s will, the business has picked up and is doing well.
I have the capacity to multitask; run the business and represent the people of Emgwen in Parliament,” says the man who captained the national team to the Beijing Olympics in 2008.
“I HAVE ALL THAT IS REQUIRED TO PROVIDE LEADERSHIP IN THE CONSTITUENCY. I AM IN THE PRIME OF YOUTH AND I HAVE IDEAS.”