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Kenyan MP decides against re-election after serving for 15 years

Full statement from Benjamin Washiali

File image of Benjamin Washiali with DP Ruto

Mumias East Member of Parliament Benjamin Washiali will not contest for the MP seat in the 2022 General Election.

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In a statement to his constituents, MP Washiali noted that he had already represented them for 15 years and had decided to give way for 'fresh' leadership.

Thanking the people of Mumias East for electing him three times, the MP advised them to be careful to choose a representative who will further the projects he [Washiali] began in his tenure.

"It's been an honour serving the People of Mumias East, with gratitude I appreciate that you placed your hope and aspirations in me for the last 15yrs, I have served diligently, I'm grateful for the development strides we've made.

"Therefore come August, I will not be running for office. It is with much humility that I therefore once again ask you people of Mumias East to come August, elect a leader who will not only better the best that we have achieved this far, but also be tenacious and zealous in their service delivery," his full statement read.

He remained mum on his next political move with some of his followers suspecting he may be planning to vie for a higher position or aspiring for a bigger role in the next regime.

The MP shared his statement on his social media channels and it received varied reactions from his followers.

A few suggested that the third term MP's decision had been informed political associations in the region which did not favour his bid.

One follower suggested that an aspirant - banker Peter Salasya - who lost to Washiali in 2017 had put up a strong enough campaign to edge out the incumbent this year.

Salasya has been vocal about his candidature in the upcoming elections and has put up a rigorous campaign online to support the inroads he is making on-ground.

Another follower suggested that complicated shifts within the United Democratic Movement (UDA) were to blame for Washiali opting out.

According to the commentator, Mr Washiali has lost political influence and former Sports CS Rashid Echesa has significantly gained it in the Western region.

A majority of those who engaged on the MP's rare political move, however, commended him saying that he had demonstrated wisdom.

Those who saw the move as a step in the right direction also called on more Kenyan political leaders to do the same.

Here are some comments that were shared on the MP's announcement.

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