August 9

Open-door policy helps Arama retain Nakuru West seat despite UDA wave

Thursday, August 18th, 2022 01:22 | By
Nakuru Town West MP Samuel Arama. PHOTO/File
Nakuru Town West MP Samuel Arama. PHOTO/File

Sunday is normally the day to go to church — and rest — but for a section of Nakuru West residents, it is a chance to ‘have tea’ with their MP Samuel Arama, a feat that may have helped him secure the seat.

For the past four years, every Sunday hundreds of locals walk to Arama’s home in London estate from as far as Kaptembwo and other low-end estates in the constituency such as Kapronda.

Speaking after clinching the parliamentary seat for the third time, Arama attributed his victory to his “open-door” policy, noting that this has enabled him to be closer to the people and understand their needs.

While he has been previously ranked among ‘silent’ MPs in Parliament, Arama is vocal outside it and doesn’t shy away from controversy.

On June 30, he was fined Sh1.5 million by a Nairobi court after being found guilty of a conspiracy to grab a piece land in Nakuru. He has appealed against the judgment.

Of the 11 MPs from Nakuru in the last Parliament, he is the only one who went against the UDA wave that swept the region, and survived.

Save for Rongai MP Raymond Moi, all the others switched to UDA and were re-elected, except Kimani Ngunjiri (Bahati), who was floored by Irene Njoki of the Jubilee Party.

Arama was first elected to Parliament on an ODM ticket in 2013.

In 2017, he switched to Jubilee and still won. While his colleagues were moving to UDA, he remained in Jubilee and survived the wave.

“You need to see the number of people coming to my home for tea every Sunday,” he once said.

“Many people don’t know this ... If you are a man and you have a wife at home, that is not your house; it is her house. I thank my wife for allowing people to come to her house and hosting them always,” he said.

The legislator was declared the winner by IEBC’s Nakuru West returning officer Moses Ahete after garnering 34,936 votes, relegating UDA’s Kamau Gathengi to second position with 29,343 votes. 

A total of 70,251 votes were cast, out of which 778 were rejected.

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