BIFWOLI WAKOLI: EX-SEMINARIAN OPTS FOR POLITICS
BIFWOLI WAKOLI / ‘Awori is a dictator!’ Wakoli screamed, as he walked across the length and breadth of Parliament Buildings, much to the consternation of the press corps covering the day’s proceedings
The image of Bifwoli Wakoli yelling all over Parliament remains etched in the minds of many Kenyans who saw that scene repeatedly on their TV screens, even though it took place more than 10 years ago.
“Awori is a dictator,” Wakoli screamed, as he walked across the length and breadth of parliament buildings, much to the consternation of the press corps gathered to cover the day’s proceedings.
Whether it was anger or comedy remains unclear, and the man himself remains guarded on his unusual action to this day.
The bone of contention was the bungled nomination of Kenyan members of the second East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) in 2006.
Powerful individuals within Narc had settled on the ruling coalition nominees without much consultation among the MPs.
“The yelling had nothing personal against Awori. I was merely doing my job in the best way I could do in the circumstances,” Wakoli, then Bumula MP, reminisces.
He was the Ford-Kenya chief whip at the time.
The party had settled on Gervase Akhaabi as its nominee who was, however, omitted from the final list. Awori, summoned a meeting of the coalition’s leadership to explain the list.
“He walked in, read the names and when Ford-Kenya demanded an explanation, he ignored us and walked out on me. That is when I started yelling,” Wakoli says.
Whatever you may say about Wakoli, he is satisfied that the yelling proved effective.
Awori amended the list and Akhaabi’s name was included.
“I have nothing against Awori but the yelling saved the situation for my party.”
Wakoli says that politics was never of much interest to him initially. “I wanted to be a priest largely because of the adverse conditions of life that I was raised in.”
He joined the seminary to achieve his dream. At Form Three, he was suspended for a year due to indiscipline. He joined another school, but returned to the seminary as soon as the suspension ended just to be closer to God.
Yet, even with this dedication he didn’t end up as a priest.
“Many are called, but few are chosen,” he now says. “God called me but at one point decided that he didn’t want me. I accepted it as part of his will.”
After losing the Bumula seat in 2013, he contested the Bungoma senatorial by-election the same year but lost to Moses Wetangula.
He plans to regain the Bumula Parliamentary seat in 2017.
“I WANTED TO BE A PRIEST LARGELY BECAUSE OF THE ADVERSE CONDITIONS OF LIFE THAT I WAS RAISED IN.”