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Kenya’s New Wineskin: Presidential aspirant Prof. James Ole Kiyiapi.

Posted by African Press International on December 17, 2011

By Fannuel Mugendi,

The presidential race inKenya’s 2012 elections is about to get a new entrant who many expect to be a game changer in politics dominated by oligarchy and corporatocracy. Who exactly is Prof. James Ole Kiyiapi? Is he the ultimate game changer in a country where money talks and Kenyans continue to get poorer?

Prof. James Ole Kiyiapi is an environmentalist by profession and a permanent secretary in the ministry of education. Raised from a less privileged background in Trans Mara district, the aspirant defied the then prevalent culture of his community “anything but education” but instead went to school and today holds a doctorate degree from Canada. He lectured at Moi University for many years before becoming a permanent secretary in the ministry of Environment. He was instrumental in implementing the clean up of the Nairobi River among other stringent and important environmental programs / laws enacted that are reshaping Kenya’s landscape and lifestyle. He also served in the ministry of Health and is a Christian family man.

As a no-nonsense administrator and a straight talker, Prof. James Ole Kiyiapi has a big agenda and vision for Kenya. He is offering a new beginning. In his words to Kenyans in Atlanta in December, Prof. James Ole Kiyiapi sees a new cloud forming on the horizon for Kenyans come 2012 should they elect him to the biggest office in the land. He touts a clean and industrious public service record, achievements and a vision that Kenyans are going to find dear to their current state of economy, political and social aspects. His vision encompasses a Kenya where food shortages will be a thing of the past, political divide will end, security and economic endowment will be attained by all Kenyans and not just a few. Despite achieving a new constitution in 2010, Kenyans are yet  to get presidential contenders that does not have prior administrations’ baggage or somewhat tied to corrupt deals that have run Kenya to poverty sending millions to foreign capitals in search of better livelihood. It’s time for “a new hope, a new start” that will usher in a leader whose making is not from privileged family backgrounds or corrupt culture.  As voters get to know this new aspirant, many in Diaspora and Kenya are already warming to this new wind of change in the hope that new wine has finally found a new wineskin in the new political and constitutional dispensation sweeping our beloved nation Kenya.

Promising to declare his candidacy and unveil his vision soon, Prof. James Ole Kiyiapi noted that “corruption is  a culture that must get the serious attention it deserves from the highest office in the land”  and he is best placed to tackle it by eliminating the “serpent and its nest”. On poverty, the Permanent Secretary confessed witnessing abject poverty in many parts of Kenya where he has travelled and decried its rising levels that could threatenKenya’s development agenda including vision 2030 and stability. He assured Kenyans that he is the most qualified person to fight poverty in Kenya having been raised from real poverty. Prof. James Ole Kiyiapi advised Kenyans to join the fight against poverty since it is a critical national task that needs immediate address.

Should the man whose community (Maasai) is largely synonymous with Kenya’s cultural definition get the support from the large population of struggling citizens, the puzzle for Kenya’s quagmire of finding a suitable candidate with a clean record will have been answered and many ragtag coalitions rendered null and a waste of Kenya voters’ remaining faith and hope. Compared to the current presidential candidates who include Raila Odinga, Uhuru Kenyatta, Kalonzo Musyoka, William Ruto, Peter Kenneth and others, it is worth to note to the reader that Prof. James Ole Kiyiapi is the only one who has not shared ugali with Moi and KANU in the State House. He represents the common folk! He is one of us.

Indeed Prof. James Ole Kiyiapi represents the new wineskin akin to Barack Obama in the 2008 United States presidential elections when masses were tired and disappointed by policies of the republican President George W. Bush.  The Diaspora is standing with their hopes raised high and tall ready to support a candidate whose past in not tainted with corruption or belongs to the family of oligarchs.  The message to many current aspirants is plain simple, “retire and give chance to new crop of leadership”. The Diaspora is out-of-bounds for same old tired money seekers who are not even bothered to fight for Diaspora to vote in the 2012 elections. In the meantime, we watch and wait for news from Hague regarding the Ocampo Six whose ruling on charges of crimes against humanity is expected to heavily impact the 2012 presidential elections in Kenya.  Stay tuned, the game just started.  


Email: Disclaimer: The views expressed herein, though supported by millions of people, are the writer’s own.

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3 Responses to “Kenya’s New Wineskin: Presidential aspirant Prof. James Ole Kiyiapi.”

  1. Ruth Awuor said

    Its time for Kenyan politics to transform from tribal and corporate dominance to the change we want for current and future generations. Today our populations is increasing, youth bulge is on rise, increasingly political economic exclusion continues to thrive and conflicts of grieve and greed dominates our land. The youthful,energetic and innovative group are strategically excluded in leadership and management of country affairs-their time has not yet come. Why- our grandfathers and fathers are still in office they are wise they have a conglomeration of vision/ dreams which all comes to confusion if not self actualisation.Poverty, drought, famine, floods, bad education, corruption continues to thrive in an era of reforms and democracy. what legacy are we going to leave for our children- We have the laws, the policies and resources- but leadership is what we LACK. Times are changing, we are approaching 50 years but still nothing substantive to show. We have lost many years and through our phases of transition we have to make a deliberate resolve to move on the other side.Kenya should now take off-and to do that we need undefiled, strategic, visionary leadership that will steer, the nations to greater heights. One that hordes his existence from genuine support, and legitimacy of all tribes, generations, social classes. One who will not entertain mediocrity, we need accountability from all quarters from high to low, we need to see results, we need to see the changes, the effects of reforms, we are tired of lip service that our current crop of leadership has mastered.Prof, is our very own, beating the odds in our society to the highest ranks of scholarly and public service.
    He maybe that which Kenyans so desire at this point in time.Yes, kenyans should give it a serious thought and support him.

    Ruth. A


  2. Laban G. Gitau said

    Prof Kiyiapi represents the silent majority that is typically different from the ethnic “majorities” that have consistently held Kenya in a stranglehold since independence. In the high suspense of seeking the next occupant of State House, which has become Kenyans’ greatest political occupation, over and above the more virtuous election of other leaders of integrity in the wider devolved government, we are all sometimes lost in the quagmire of naming the “one” person because the issue of his ethnic persuasion. The “big” tribes have to a large extent believed that the equation for this top slot is an arithmatic they can play around with to either remain in power, or wrestle that power from whoever is the incumbent. This greed for power has elevated the Kikuyu, the Kalenjin, the Luo, the Luhya and the Kamba as overfed and haughty backgrounds from which to select a leader to address the suffering of the common man. Kiyiapi in State House would burst that bubble of “big tribe” mentality and, I believe, although time would be a good judge, Kiyiapi’s Christian background and integrity that has been tested and tried in his performance so far, would eschew the “ni wakati wetu wa kula” mentality with which every tribe in Kenya eyes the State House ascendancy, so that they may “eat up” like those who have done the same ahead of them. With the new constitution, I believe there is a possibility of a Turkana, for example, the most marginalized tribe in Kenya, offering a candidature that can be supported by all Kenyans so as to turn around the cogs of real justice and unity in Kenya. This is the only way to beat the juggernaut of negative ethnicity that results in the cold blooded killings of the innocent when they simply exercise their democratic rights to vote. Prof. Kiyiapi, may God grant you the desire of your heart and in the process advance the cause for the aspiration of many Kenyans. Laban G. Gitau


  3. Iriaget ab Awendo said

    Good luck Ole.I like his idea of equity in the admission to the natiotinal schools on a quota sytem for public and private academies.It was a bold move and this I noticed recently prompted teachers in public schools to return their Kids to the public schools and teach rather than intentional neglect of the public schools to stiffle competition against their private counterparts where in most cases they are owners or have their kids schooling.


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