Never has a political aspirant used his academic prowess to right wrongs in society as a platform for seeking high office against his opponent’s low education which he blames for ongoing ills afflicting Bahati Constituency.
Civil Engineer Crispus Antony Wathimba openly spoke against structural defects he detected on school buildings, bridges and roads projects earning him a much-deserved nickname, ‘engineer’.
The 36-year-old resident of Kagoto, Kiamaina ward in Bahati constituency came onto the political scene by default when visiting his home when he discovered a road contractor was doing a shoddy job on a road, blocking drainage lines and grading the road to have a permanent inward curve.
“These poor works cost people their investments when the rains pounded the region as water was directed to farms destroying crops and sweeping off houses it found on its way. I screamed and the contractor had to re-divert the water to Menengai Crater thereby helping support vegetation that serves as pastures of last resort for local livestock keepers,” recalls Wathimba.
In a one-on-one interview in Nakuru, he glided around the marble-laden rotunda, explanation about his plan to torpedo his rivals in the parliamentary seat on a Jubilee-party in the upcoming nominations.
“It appears to be a long political shot, but when you go to the horse races, everyone starts from the same line backed by their experience, people engagement and preparedness,’ he asserts about his intention to seek the Jubilee party ticket.
After numerous interventions on correcting ills committed by contractors on public projects, Wathimba went public on his intention to contest in March 2016 saying the current MP’s academic background was harming the community’s interest.
He said that when various leaders in Nakuru were put to task to explain the development goals they have achieved since they took office, they were at pains to do so and that is what motivated him to seek an elective post.
“It occurred to me then that I was no longer the leader of the future as we youth are always informed but my future was now or never. In the last 10 months I have been traversing this constituency, I realised we need a new kind of leadership,” he states.
The first time aspirant believes he is the best bet for Bahati because he has the capability to jell with elected leaders in Nakuru County and bargain for the National cake as well as donor agencies to improve the state of sanitation in Nakuru.
Some of the integral parts of his plan once elected is to ensure residents of Bahati gets clean water, access to quality education, better health care, women empowerment, ensuring the youth plays an integral part in the society, as well as championing for the rights of elderly and persons with disability.
His foundation, The Wathimba Foundation, has been involved in water projects in the constituency especially, Engashura, Wanyororo A- and Githioro where they donated funds towards acquiring distribution pipes and water tanks. They are also coming up with a strategic plan and design to permanently address the water issue in Bahati.
The youthful aspirant has visionary plans for the youth. His foundation held a successful football tournament and sponsored several football clubs to the FKF league and provides sports wear for others.
They also sponsored the creative arts industry where they trained over 50 young men and women for two day Film Symposium, 50 Youths to the Safaricom Blaze Summit, shot a 15 minutes movies with 20 youths involved in the project, sponsored over 60 youth with Rabbits, Horticulture Seeds and Fertilisers and over 10 youth received support in recording and launching their music albums.
On women empowerment, numerous women groups have benefited through diverse interventions such as training them in modern Farming technologies, Beat and Mat Making, Table banking financing, including several cash donations courtesy of the foundation.
Last year, The Foundation donated food and blankets to over 60 homes in Kiamaina, Kabatini and Dundori wards for the elderly. They also took part in the chapati forum held at the Ngara School for the Deaf among many other initiatives.
To fulfil his transformation agenda of agricultural sector in the area, The Wathimba Foundation sponsored several farmers on a learning tours at the Brookside Livestock Breeding Show, Nyandarua Engineer Kari Potato Model Farm and St Clara Agriculture training centre where they had a chance to learn a lot on modern farming technologies and methodologies in Dairy Farming ( cow and goat) , Beekeeping, Potato Farming and Horticulture , as well as acquiring skills and knowledge that will add value to their farms.
In an effort to improve the living standards of the youth, being one of the key prerequisites for the social change that is needed in our societies, The Foundation has sponsored several students with Fees and Learning Equipment as well as securing internship for over 10 Graduate from Bahati Constituency some of whom have been retained and are now working.
“I am currently working on the registration of Bahati Leaders and Professionals Association which will play a key role in Mentorship and Career guidance programme as well as support needy students in Bahati, helping graduate from tertiary institutions get an internship, practical attachment and Jobs,” Wathimba said.
Through his personal friends and associates in the engineering field, he has intervened on several matters relating to Kenya National Highway Authority (KENHA) and Kenya Rural Roads Authority(KeRRA) roads as well as bringing to light the false promises that residents have been told in previous elections campaign which are non-existent projects.
Wathimba believes the incumbent Onesmus Kimani Ngunjiri has done dismally and cannot give him a grade on his performance since it is outside the scoop.
“Ngunjiri is the epitome of a failed leadership in Bahati by dragging us down despite having the much resources at his disposal,” he says.
He said that the incumbent has let his people down and the only way voters can remove him is by electing a leader who is conscious and alive to the problems on the ground.
“The leader should also have a clear and feasible Socio-economic Agenda that can address those problems both in the medium and long-term beyond his term as an MP,” he added.
According to the youthful aspirant, the incumbent has mismanaged the CDF kitty to benefit a few of his cronies “some have stolen enough money within four years to seek political office and flaunt their ill-gotten wealth openly.”
He says Ngunjiri has also done little to tame cases of insecurity in the constituency and will never be the best leader to tackle the menace in the county.
“He was supposed to give leadership and political goodwill to end the insecurity menace and he has failed, I can say without a doubt,” he said.
About other aspirants in the Bahati Parliamentary seat, Engineer Wathimba believes his academic and development record speaks volumes and puts him ahead of others.
“Unlike other aspirants who have made it clear that their only interest is to unseat Hon. Kimani Ngunjiri, am well versed with the problems facing Bahati residents and that gives me an edge and qualify me to be their next legislature,” he added.
Wathimba, as a youth, believes he is the best bet for Bahati leadership to make sure the constituency attracts positive attention nationally and internationally.
He feels Bahati needs a leader like former President Mwai Kibaki whose Economic Blue Print for Kenya is still felt today by the current government even after his retirement, and that is what he stands for and asked the residents to offer him a chance to lead in order to make this a reality.
“I believe that I represent that leadership because I understand, communicate, align and work towards the transformation agenda of the people of Bahati,” he said.