OPINION: Nyamita’s grassroot presence rekindles gubernatorial memories

Uriri MP Mark Nyamita greeting worshipers at OSogo Catholic Church

By Awilo Awilo

In the year 2017, Hon. Mark Ogolla Nyamita made a defining decision, preceded by nostalgia, to run for Uriri parliamentary seat – barely two weeks into the ODM party primaries.

Largely viewed, then, as a risky and bold move, Nyamita would capture the seat convincingly with more than 70% of votes cast and winning in 76 out of the 80 polling centres.

While some thought of him as a political wunderkind, “Nyarombo Maler”, as he is widely called by his fond admirers, had been actively involved in grassroot politics from 2004 general elections and in 2012/13 when he unsuccessfully sought the Migori County gubernatorial ticket during the ODM PARTY primaries.

As the freshly elected ” waheshimiwa” settled into office, the Uriri MP played active role at the national stage during the ODM “RESIST” campaigns and frequently championed the party agenda on TV, radio, rallies and other fora. These, plus more, would see him elected as the Secretary of the Luo Parliamentary Caucus, popularly known as “DUOL”.

Uriri MP Mark Nyamita in 2017 when he confronted anti-riot police officers in Migori town during anti-IEBC demo

Additionally, ” Chiambe” moved with speed to organize the first constituency sports tournament in December 2017; and an expanded one in Decrmber 2018 that would prominently feature women and Persons With Disabilities.

A further testament to his love for sports is proved by his admirable patronage of different sports clubs (Migori Youth FC and Sony Sugar Rugby Team) alongside sponsoring yearly tournaments in North Kamagambo in Rongo and Aneko Football Tournament in Nyatike.

Uriri MP Mark Nyamita throws the ball in the pitch when he took part in friendly match against area police officers

His expanded national network has enabled him to mobilize fellow leaders for mega fundraisers that have raised millions of shillings with notable infrastructural projects underway in Lwala Mixed, St. Joseph’s School, Rapogi, Ombo Sec. School, St. Pius Uriri High School and many others including churches.

Significantly, his cap of firsts likewise includes the first ever Uriri Disability Awareness Day that was a precursor to the International Day of Persons With Disabilities which he cosponsored with the PWD nominated MP. Dennitah Ghati and was hosted in Uriri.

Uriri MP Mark Nyamita and Nominated MP Dennitah Ghati

The event was successful in elevating the status of the PWDs with a number of them receiving mobility equipments and other special gadgets and treatments as well as sensitization on their rights, empowerment opportunities and inclusiveness. This he has put into practice by having more than two PWDs employed in his constituency office.

Today, if you walk into any major secondary school in this country, you will certainly find five or more students under the educational scholarship of Hon. Mark Nyamita. That’s out of the hundreds of hundreds currently pursuing education for ideas of the future.

Uriri MP Mark Nyamita at Rapogi School with the beneficiary to school

Additional 600 youths are absorbed under the KYEOP programme of the World Bank.

In any typical weekend, you’ll find Eng. Nyamita combining the villages of Uriri while looking for the views of the people in public participation exercises; or delivering bursaries per sub-location; or fundraising for churches or joining Muslims in prayers; or inspecting ongoing projects ; or launching complete projects, with the latest being Stella Market Streetlights.

Mark Nyamita and Rebecca Ghati at Nyarongi Kopere

Expectedly, he has become a darling of the rural folks who say with emphasis that, “never before has a leader been in so close touch to the people as Nyamita.”

The engineer from JKUAT has thought big and different making many people pause to ask whether his gubernatorial dream lingers on or is abandoned. His flagship projects have partners ranging from the World Bank to partnerships with universities and H. E PM Raila Amolo Odinga, and all.

Perhaps inspired by the words of John Wesley, who founded Methodism, ” Nyamita does all the good he can, to all the people he can, in all the ways he can, as long as ever he can.” Or maybe, in the words of Gordon Brown, he was born endowed with the purpose to give hope to the young, shoulder to the elderly and joy to the womenfolks.

And it’s widely known that to him, his people are more important than his policies. His people are his policies. And their welfare and wellness, his ultimate desire.

Edited by Timothy Mbaya