Henry Ongeri and Josephine Buruchara are candidates for Governor and Deputy Governor of Nyamira County in August 9, 2022 General Election in Kenya on a Democratic Congress Party under the Azimio Coalition. Photo: Courtesy of Bwakire Se! Facebook Page
Henry Ongeri and Josephine Buruchara are candidates for Governor and Deputy Governor of Nyamira County in August 9, 2022 General Election in Kenya on a Democratic Congress Party under the Azimio Coalition. Photo: Courtesy of Bwakire Se! Facebook Page

Honorable Citizens of Nyamira County,

With due respect to you as the ultimate Sovereign in accordance to Article 1, Constitution of Kenya, 2020, we the members of Bwakire Se! Nyamira 2022 and candidates for the Governorship hereby submit as follows:

  1. Introduction/Background

We began the improbable journey as a campaign for a better, brighter Nyamira County. We acknowledged that Nyamira faces a plethora of problems, most of which we viewed as man-made and preventable. From impassable roads and virtually no modern infrastructure, endemic public corruption, growing poverty, a collapsed healthcare system, visionless leadership to unremarkable status on the local and international stage, the list goes on. In our view, it was total darkness -literal and figurative. In December 2018, we launched Bwakire Se! (a New Dawn!) with the sole objective to bring light to Nyamira. Our gubernatorial bid was an inseparable cog in this wheel. Even back then, we considered the August, 2022 election as a binary choice: between a darkness (read the Status Quo) and light (a new dawn in fundamental ways).

Barely a week to the all-important August 9, 2022 election day, we believe that we have prosecuted a convincing case. 

  1. Opening Statement

Upon launching of Bwakire Se! as a movement, we were under no illusions that change would come easily or without cost. Nonetheless, we outlined an agenda for a brighter Nyamira as having these irreducible core pillars: 

  • New Ideas
  • A Bold Vision
  • Fresh Faces

Our argument then as is today, remains: we must engineer and midwife the total transformation of Nyamira County in fundamental ways. That the status quo was not only unacceptable but also that another 10 years thereof would amount to total dismantling of the County as an entity.

For nearly two years now, we have engaged the people of Nyamira in intentional and often difficult conversations around the agenda for change as captured in the above pillars. In Bwakire Se!, we believe that all the above pillars must be in place in order for the transformation of Nyamira to even begin. 

  1. Case-In-Chief

Throughout the campaign, we have endeavored to offer solution-based and tested leadership with the sole objective of improving the conditions of our people. For this reason, our unique campaign style felt more like a classroom environment than the despicable circuses that our opponents often engage in. 

  1. New Ideas: we cannot continue to do the same things over and over again but expect different results. In Ekegusii we say, keria giasirerie inchera rogoro kerigerie inchera maate. (If an item is lost in the north, you must try to find it in the south). Embracing new ideas would enable our County to boldly step into the 21st Century in key areas of agriculture, internet connectivity, healthcare, education, investment, gender and youth empowerment among others. For instance, building strategic public, private partnerships gave birth to such groundbreaking ideas such as the Global Connections Center at Nyanchonori, Rigoma Ward. Upon completion in 2024, the Center will serve as the technological and industrial hub for the region with capacity for remote learning, gainful employment and center for creative arts and sports.
  1. A Bold Vision: we must build legacies that will outlive us: meaning, we need leaders with a plan for 10, 20, 50 or even 100 years. Under this pillar, we have pledged the long-awaited Nyamira International University and world-class healthcare system. Our deep global connections and relationships would serve our County well as we lay the foundation for a rapid jump into modern civilization, a thing that seems to elude our competitors and predecessors. As we criss-cross Nyamira in search for votes, there is unanimous agreement that the current state of the County is unacceptable and requires fundamental change. No wonder even incumbent leaders are loudly proclaiming their desire for change too!
  1. Fresh Faces: we insist that in order for our County to change for the better, we must bring in fresh faces into the political space. Both Hon. Josephine Nyanchama Buruchara and I are undoubtedly Fresh Faces in Nyamira politics. Neither of us has sought public office in the country nor have we served in any. We are therefore, the breath of fresh air that our County is desperately gasping for. With the nomination of Hon. Buruchara as Nyamira’s sole female Deputy Governor, we join Azimio Coalition Party Leader Rt. Hon. Raila Amolo Odinga who tapped SC Martha W. Karua as the Deputy President of Kenya. It is humbling privilege to lead the people of Nyamira as we write a chapter in that history too.
  1. Closing Argument

As Kenyans approach August 9, 2022, we trust that the voters of Nyamira County have heard our loud and persuasive case for change. Hopefully, we have shown the urgency of immediate action at the ballot booth to avoid any deeper regression. Our youth can ill-afford another lost decade; our people cannot bear more pangs of poverty; demoralized, underpaid but overworked public servants deserve a break; Nyamirans are entitled to live in dignity and with a modicum of decency across the County. Briefly put, it is time for Bwakire Se!, Hon. Wakili Henry Ongeri as Governor and Hon. Josephine N. Buruchara as Deputy Governor. The alternatives are unthinkable.

The authors are candidates for Governor and Deputy Governor of Nyamira County in the August 9, 2022 Kenyan general elections.

About Henry Ongeri

Henry Ongeri is a Kenyan-American lawyer and Managing Partner of H.M. ONGERI & ASSOCIATES, a transatlantic law firm with offices in Africa and the United States. He is a regular commentator on global issues for Mshale.

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