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Former president goes for KCYA top seat

Sapayio Sentero says his legacy at the youth lobby group, and his camaraderie with Governor Lenku gives him an upper hand to clinch the seat

By A Correspondent

The race for the Kajiado County Youth Alliance (KCYA) chairmanship hots up ahead of the contested June election, with the entry of the immediate former chairman of the Kenya Maa Students Association (KMSA) Sapayio Sentero.

Sentero becomes the latest to declare his interest to unseat the incumbent chair Robert Lempaso. Others who had expressed interest for the seat include; current KCYA Organizing Secretary Raphael Kaai, and former chair aspirant Tait Lesiamon.

Lempaso, on his part, had taken a hard stance rubbishing calls for election, maintaining that it’s not yet time for the exercise, though his critics accuse him of having intentions to “fraudulently” extend his time in office against the express provision of the body’s Constitution.

On this note, Darwin Naikuni, a former KMSA IT administrator, and member of the KCYA Electoral Commission, took to pen a thinly-veiled attack on the incumbent chair, through an opinion piece published by the Kajiado Star, urging the youth fraternity to “say no to any selfish bid to violate our sovereign law — to postpone an election at an individual’s whims”.

Camaraderie with governor

In an exclusive interview, Sentero, a finalist student at the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology where he is undertaking a bachelor’s degree in Procurement and Contract Management; said he is not only confident of his legacy while at the helm of the national youth association, but also his camaraderie with Governor Joseph ole Lenku to give him an upper hand to trounce his competitors in the race.

“I really enjoy cordial relationship with the governor, and I am fully in support of his re-election bid, infact I recently led hundreds of youth from Kajiado West Constituency in reaffirming our support, when the governor visited the area,” he said.

It’s understood that the governor is keen to rally the support of the youth, through the alliance, as he seeks his re-election in the next general election.

Legacy

The vocal youth leader told this publication that, during his stint as the KMSA president, he successfully organized numerous fund-drives which have gone a long way in helping needy but bright students to complete their studies.

He also claimed to have been in the forefront advocating for social and political justice for the Maa community.

“My fellow youth would attest that I have been particularly vocal against threats of arrest directed at (Narok Senator Ledama) ole Kina, in view of his support on Mau eviction.

“As the youth leaders, we came out strongly to support him and put out clearly that the lawmaker was representing the views of the Maa community on the [Mau conservation] issue, and that he should not be intimidated.”

He also claimed to have been a strategic team player in a group of youth that has been agitating for an end to “harassment” that (former Laikipia North MP) Mathew Lempurkel, was being subjected to, amid accusations that he was inciting locals against foreign ranch owners in the constituency.

“In the cause of this lobby, we even wrote a letter to the ODM Secretary General Edwin Sifuna where we asked him to take advantage of the popular handshake [between President Uhuru Kenyatta and former Premier Raila Odinga] to persuade the State to drop charges levied against the MP, failure to which we would then marshal our members to demonstrate in the ODM offices.

“After persistent effort of piling pressure on the party to act on the matter, it eventually resolved to hire a battery of lawyers who represented the MP in court, and was thereafter acquitted.”

If elected, he pledges to offer requisite leadership acumen that will endeavour to accommodate diverse opinions.

Furthermore, he promises to prioritize on building strong partnerships with key stakeholders in the county affairs, namely; the County Government of Kajiado, the National Youth Council and NGOs working within and without Kajiado to benefit the youth of Kajiado.

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