MICAH KIPKEMBOI KIGEN: STEEP COST OF PO­LIT­I­CAL AC­TIVISM

“Kanu lost the elec­tions and the debtors auc­tioned my prop­erty, in­clud­ing my fam­ily house in Nairobi. My fam­ily was thrown out and we had to be ac­com­mo­dated by my brother.”

The Star (Kenya) - - Front Page - MATHEWS NDANYI @math­ews_n­danyi

Fight­ing cor­rup­tion is not just good gov­er­nance. It’s self­de­fense. It’s pa­tri­o­tism. Joe Bi­den Amer­i­can Vice-Pres­i­dent

MICAH Kipkemboi Kigen re­mem­bers the af­ter­math of 2002 gen­eral elec­tions with a great deal of bit­ter­ness.

The events of that time lit­er­ally broke his life into pieces, but he is happy that he has lived to tell the story. He says now that it is only thanks to God’s mercy that he made it through.

The frus­tra­tions he faced led to him go­ing to State House in Nakuru in the sun­set of Daniel arap Moi rule and weep­ing un­con­trol­lably.

And he sub­se­quently went to Moi’s Kabarak home where he camped out­side for seven days, in the hope that he would be paid the costs he had in­curred while cam­paign­ing for Uhuru Keny­atta who was then the party’s can­di­date in the gen­eral elec­tion.

Kigen had ver­bally agreed with Kanu to re-or­gan­ise YK’ 92 to sup­port Uhuru with a prom­ise that they will be funded.

This did not hap­pen and Kigen, along with his group mem­bers, went on to in­cur huge costs in the hope that they would be paid back.

“I had a firm com­mit­ment that we would be funded and we in­curred huge costs amount­ing to Sh12 mil­lion in ho­tel bills but our ef­forts to get help failed,” Kigen sadly re­calls.

“Kanu lost the elec­tions and the debtors auc­tioned my prop­erty, in­clud­ing my fam­ily house in Nairobi. My fam­ily was thrown out and we had to be ac­com­mo­dated by my brother.”

For­mer Lu­gari MP Cyrus Jirongo paid to en­able him to move into a rental house and af­ter win­ning the 2013 polls.

Pres­i­dent Keny­atta then helped to off­set the bal­ance of what Kigen owed the debtors.

“I don’t re­gret join­ing pol­i­tics and do­ing what we did. I have for­given all those who were be­hind my woes. My friends in South Su­dan helped me to start busi­ness which I run to date and am do­ing well”, says Kigen, who at one time worked as a per­sonal as­sis­tant to for­mer Min­is­ter Ni­cholas Bi­wott.

Kigen in­tends to run for the Keiyo South par­lia­men­tary seat on an ODM ticket in 2017.

He is the pa­tron of the Ka­goech Foun­da­tion which he formed to mo­bi­lize youth for de­vel­op­ment ac­tiv­i­ties in El­geyo Marak­wet.

He is also be­hind a green­ing pro­gramme to con­serve the en­vi­ron­ment in the North Rift.

He claims that he has for many years fought for the rights of com­mu­ni­ties in Ke­rio Val­ley.

This is where he was born and Kigen fur­ther claims that he has wit­nessed hun­dreds of peo­ple be­ing dis­placed from land which they had long oc­cu­pied.

This was done, ac­cord­ing to Kigen, to make way for min­ing ac­tiv­i­ties in that re­gion.

“I DON’T RE­GRET JOIN­ING POL­I­TICS AND DO­ING WHAT WE DID. I HAVE FOR­GIVEN ALL THOSE WHO WERE BE­HIND MY WOES.”

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