One on One with Makena Mwita: The Youthful Kuria East MP Aspirant
Who is Makena Mwita?
First, I am 30 years old, born and raised in a small village called Chinato in Kuria East Constituency, Migori Country. I went to Chinato Primary School, Kebaroti Secondary School and Ikerege Secondary School for my O and A levels both in Migori County. I got an opportunity to study Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting &Taxation) at Bangalore University in India before coming back to Kenya and working for one year. I thereafter enrolled for my Master’s Degree in Professional Accounting in Australia. While undertaking my studies, I interacted with people from different nationalities and admired how most countries are run. I was effectively Inspired to bring some change in our community and country.
At 30 years of age, aren’t you too young to lead?
Age should not be a factor. The world is changing and the old people in leadership positions across Kenya may not be aware of what is happening. The Kenyan constitution allows you to vie for the MP seat at 18 years and therefore no one is ever too young to lead as long as they have reached the minimum age limit. Furthermore, young people bring fresh ideas to the table. Look at Thomas Sankara for instance, at 28 years of age, he was already a revolutionary. He brought about big change at a very young age and at just 33 years of age, he was already the president of Burkina Faso. Within the Kenyan context, I am often inspired by the Nairobi Senator who was elected to office at a young age and has done a lot for the people of Nairobi and Kenyans in general. It is time we realized that politics is not a position for retirement.
What do you stand for as an individual?
I stand for integrity and accountability in leadership because I believe that if we hold onto good values and elect leaders that are selfless and not corrupt, we will have a better country. I have these values that will help fight corruption and bring meaningful change in the country.
What makes you different from all the other aspirants? What are the pillars of your campaign?
My political campaign will be informed by four priority areas including education, water and sanitation, agriculture and industrialization. With regards to education, I will allocate resources to enable the establishment of community libraries in every ward within Kuria East Constituency to increase access to information. I will also enhance transparency and inclusivity in the bursary allocation process to ensure that only deserving students get to benefit across the constituency. With regards to water and sanitation, we live in a 21st century and people should not be walking long distances to get water. Therefore, I will focus on providing piped water in all homes in my constituency. On agriculture, my focus will be on educating people about modern ways of farming to enhance their productivity and improve agribusiness. With regards to industrialization, we all know that Kuria East produces sugarcane and coffee and my focus would be on looking at ways to enhance value addition for these crops in order to obtain maximum benefits for my people.
For how long have you been out of the country? Don’t you think you have lost touch with the electorate you seek to represent?
I have been out of the country since 2012. However, I have never lost touch with my people in Kuria East because I have always been coming twice a year to visit and interact with. Remember that home is where my heart is. It is only the Covid-19 pandemic that has restricted my travels to just once a year. But I am now officially coming to launch my campaign.
At 30 years, why do you want to give up a budding and lucrative professional career to venture into the local politics?
The desire to bring change. Lasting change can only start if we change our policies as a country. I reckon that laws are made in parliament and government oversight is done in parliament. Therefore, I believe that there is so much that I can do to change my community from parliament than at an individual level. I aspire to be an authentic voice of the Kuria people in parliament, something that has been missing for quite some time. Focus area – education, industrialization, agriculture, water and sanitation, social amenities and security.
What about poverty?
Creating opportunities for them together with other parliamentarians. Once elected I will focus on promoting training and development programs for the women and young people to become self-employed and revive the sugar cane and coffee industries in Kuria East. This will help them overcome poverty-related challenges.
What is your view on the Political Party’s Space in Kenya?
Kenya has about 83 political parties and that honestly is a lot of parties in my view. However, these political parties are good because they are important vehicles that promote democracy. However, I would rather have few political parties that stand on ideology than have a lot of parties with no future past an election period. For instance, in the U.S, the Democrat and Republican parties are the two main parties and are based on ideology. That’s where we need to head as Kenya.
The Kenyan politics are shaping into UDA vs Azimio la Umoja, which horse are you backing?
I am currently running as an independent candidate but I will consider joining a party if need be. Currently, I want to focus on my manifesto and what I want to do for my people in Kuria East.What’s next? I want to lead my people at the national assembly. To achieve this, I will be traveling back to Kenya to start meeting the electorate at a personal level. I don’t want to have a monopoly of ideas and therefore I will engage with everyone on the ground and develop my manifesto based on what the people of Kuria East Constituency want. Therefore, my campaign will be based on inclusivity and diversity to achieve the collective good of the Kuria people.