October 20th 2017

Entertainment / Celebrities

Youthful MCA nominee rallying Kasipul peers toward economic empowerment

Geoffrey's feat was no less remarkable. With 1,570 votes, he won in seven out of  the 14 polling stations in his ward. In fact, even as an MCA aspirant he received more votes than the third-placed parliamentary contender, Mr Ongiri, who also happens to come from his ward.

By Free Press Correspondentnewsdesk@kenyafreepress.comSaturday, 13 May 2017 18:05 EAT

MCA aspirant Geoffrey Otieno Opiyo.

A youthful businessman who won the ODM nomination for the South Kasipul ward representative (MCA) position has rolled out a programme of economic empowerment that he hopes to steer over the next five years and transform the lives of his peers.

Geoffrey Otieno Opiyo, 31, who seeks to represent his people in the Homa Bay County Assembly, is almost certain of winning the position in the August 8 general elections given the strong support his party commands there. He would become one of the youngest members in the assembly judging by the average age of those who sailed in ODM primaries in the region.

A successful businessman, Geoffrey runs a fast-growing oil distribution business in Oyugis Town and is well regarded among the town's business and professional community. While this is his first time in politics as a contestant, he has been part of the region's political process for five years, having been a member of the campaign committee for Kasipul parliamentary nominee Charles Ongondo Were.

In that election in 2013, Mr Were was widely believed to have won the ODM nomination but was controversially knocked out in the rush for the party nomination certificate, losing out to then incumbent Oyugi Magwangi. This time, as Mr Were put up a brave and successful fight to get the seat he was cheated on in 2013, Geoffrey launched his own campaign for the ward representative position, and both have emerged victorious.

As can be seen from the results, both aspirants were immensely popular candidates for their respective seats. Mr Were won the parliamentary primaries with a wide margin, garnering 11,339 votes against his closest challengers Okindo Majiwa who had 6,800 votes and Isaac Ongiri with 1,241.

Geoffrey's feat was no less remarkable. With 1,570 votes, he won in seven out of  the 14 polling stations in his ward. In fact, even as an MCA aspirant he received more votes than the third-placed parliamentary contender, Mr Ongiri, who also happens to come from his ward.

When the Kenya Free Press caught up with Geoffrey in Nairobi recently when he came to finalise nomination procedures, he was being mobbed by youths and professionals from his region who had contributed to his victory. While some are based in Nairobi, others had travelled with him from Oyugis.

The businessman, who launched into local trade immediately after secondary education at Maseno National School, informed this website about his political programme should he be elected on August 8. He described in detail his vision of collaborating with the county government to implement business financing solutions for local young businessmen.

Since 2013 when he first engaged in the political process, he said, he had been working with petty traders in Oyugis and contributed to helping young people, including boda boda riders, to save and invest their money in small projects. He had also contributed to building schools, hospitals and other social projects.

Educated at Ruby Craft Primary School in Kendu Bay, Geoffrey did his KCPE examinations in the year 2000 and joined Maseno National School, where he took his KCSE in 2004. After that he went straight into business.

Among his priorities in the next five years to initiate programmes in infrastructure, youth empowerment, education and agriculture. But above all, he said that the youths should be financed to start small business ventures and create jobs for themselves.

"What we need above everything in South Kasipul is jobs for young people. And there is no better way to create jobs than empowering the people to undertake life-improving projects on their farms and at the village level," he said.

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