Kelvin Mwangi Maina, a first-year student at the University of Nairobi made history by becoming the youngest political aspirant in the by-elections held on Tuesday, December 15, 2020.
The 20-year-old Bachelor of Commerce student vied for the vacant MCA seat for Gaturi Ward, Kiharu constituency. The seat was declared vacant following the death of MCA Cyrus Kiiru Mbembe.
Maina was presented with a clearance certificate to run for the by-elections on October 16, 2020, after which the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) declared him the youngest candidate.
“At 20, Kelvin Mwangi Maina of Party of Economic Democracy (PED) is the youngest candidate to be cleared for December 15 By-election,” a statement by IEBC read in part.
Following the conclusion of the hotly contested by-elections, Maina became second runners up, with Esther Mwihaki clinching the seat, to become the next Gaturi ward MCA.
The young politician earned recognition for his efforts from area Member of Parliament Ndindi Nyoro for his outstanding efforts, and desire to lead the region. He also commended the other aspirants for their roles as well.
“I take this opportunity to congratulate the Gaturi Ward MCA elect Esther Mwihaki following her decisive win today. She has been Kiharu NG CDF Committee Member since 2017,
“To Kelvin Mwangi Maina, you are a great young man. Vying while in your first year on campus proves you have a great future ahead,” Nyoro remarked.
Maina battled it out against seven other contestants to woo the registered 14,000 voters into electing him as their representative.
“After the university closed following the Covid-19 outbreak, I had nothing to do in my Kigongo village, and when IEBC declared ward seat vacant following the death of MCA Cyrus Kiiru Mbembe I found am fit to replace him,” Mwangi had stated in an interview with a local publication.
He revealed that many parties he had approached for a ticket had viewed him as a jocker and only PED was willing to take a chance with him.
“It was only Party of Economic Democracy (PED) that noticed my potential but not for free. The officials of the party recruited me to be the clerk during the recruitment of Kahawa Sukari ward in Kiambu county,” Maina revealed.
It was after the assignment that he was presented with the party ticket.
Maina joins in the footsteps of several other Kenyans who made a mark on the country’s political scene at a young age, most recently, Igembe South MP John Paul Mwirigi who was elected to parliament at the age of 23, on August 8, 2017.
Others include Senate Majority Whip Irung’u Kang’ata who was elected as Councillor for Township Ward, Murang’a in 2002, while he was a student at the University of Nairobi.