‘Nìríwaabîa…huyo jamaa hatawasaidia ‘(I told you that guy won’t help you) this was me 5 years later after I lost the local Member of County Assembly (MCA) seat by a slide.
In 2013, I had decided to put myself in the ballot paper to run as an mca in my local Kiaritha-ini sub-county. I owned a fairly big vegetable shop which had grown over the years from a kiosk that I used to sell everything green, from sukuma wiki(kales) to managu(edible weeds) name it, for that reason people there knew me as ‘Mboga Fresh’. My idea to run had come from one of my workers who had approached my and said, ‘Mboga fresh mûndù, vile huwa unarisha hawa njamaa wa huku thukuma(sukuma wiki) , si usimame kájùra(MCA) utulishe hadi nyama sasa’ That got me thinking, the guy was right, I’ve literally been the reason why everyone in Kiaritha-ini was so healthy, I mean there were more maternity clinics than dispensaries at my area, guys were that healthy imagine 😀 At some point, I thought the government would come and have me as a minister of nutrition and make my mboga business a national one. So I decided to put myself in the run for local MCA. I sincerely didn’t know anything about politics, all I knew was that I needed the numbers, elections being 3 months away, I had to bring my A-game. My most fierce contestant was a guy called Weru, a local ndùthí (motorbike) operator who had a big following from his fellow guys in the nduthi business. He used to move around with tens of nduthi guys hooting as if they wanted to wake the dead, at one point I used to believe that all those guys were deaf because of how loudly they used to talk while conversing at ‘low tones’. For me I did my campaigns differently, I sourced for a group of 50 women and youth who I used to walk around with singing songs of my praise while ululating. They used to chant ‘Mboga fresh wa leo, nyama fresh ya kesho’ this really acted as a selling point as most of the people wanted to have meat as part of their meal other than the usual greens daily. That translated to them wanting to have a better life, and they wanted me to deliver them to their ‘Canaan’. That made me feel like some sort of a savior . We did campaigns tirelessly from door to door, churches and also at the shopping center . The problem with this was, in many occasions I used to meet my competitor Weru near the nduthi stage at the shopping center, and himself and his goons throwed stones at us. Due to this, I had hired my own group of youth who I had promised an unlimited supply of vegetables whose work was to guard me. Fast forward to the weekend to the general elections, the electoral commission had suspended any kind of campaigns two days to elections that were to be held that Monday. I had done my campaigns vigorously and I was very confident of a win, but that Sunday morning I was greeted by the shock of my life.
Just as I had woken up I heard a group of youth chanting songs against me outside my house, I hurriedly put on my brown jacket and went out. There stood police officers and a group of youth allied to Weru wanting to skin me alive. The police took me by my belt and threw me in their Land Rover with no explanation ‘ni nini afisa? ‘ I asked, ‘ingia ndani wewe! utajulia mbele!’. When we arrived at the police station, I was told that my competitor Weru was missing and his bodaboda had been found abandoned by the roadside that morning and it was believed that I was the man behind his disappearance, being his main political rival. It was an absurd allegation and I was quickly thrown into the cell. The cell was horrific, it was dark and stinking of urine and dead mice. I was sharing the cell with seven other guys who all seemed to be drunkards.
That evening, I heard news from the officers that Weru had mysteriously re-appeared and the whole village believed that I was behind his disappearance , a rumour that was being fueled by Weru himself to tarnish my name and I knew Weru had plotted the whole plan and had faked his disappearance to destroy my name. Come election day, I lost miserably to Weru as everyone believed I was a criminal and gave Weru their sympathy votes. That was when I learnt my lesson…politics is a dirty game and nice guys indeed finish last.