Politics

Harvester: I have the right solutions for Kajiado East

A case in point is the Goat and Sheep ranch in Mavoko constituency in Machakos County, where the Kaputiei Community has been fighting to wrest from the hands of a number of national government agencies.

This particular football game was do-or-die. There was palpable tension among opposing supporters. Soon the ball went out of play and as the star player in the visiting team was preparing himself for the throw-in, something weird happened and it threw the whole stadium into confusion.

As the player was getting ready to throw the ball, someone emerged from the crowd and hit the player with a rungu at the back of his head.

The cowardly attack was the culmination of a long-lasting rivalry, among opposing fans, that had morphed into bad blood; directed at this one particular player.

As a young man growing up in Oloosirkon area of Kitengela, Wilson Kisemei was virtually unstoppable as a footballer. His exploits in the soccer field was the stuff of legends.

“Narresho, for that was the name of our club, was virtually unplayable,” he says, he eyes lighting up with the memory. “While I was a defender, I could easily overlap be a lethal attacker. I was the top scorer for two consecutive years.”

His cabinet is lined up with a number of trophies to attest this fact.

His fame had spread far and wide and he was both feared and loathed by competitors, who saw him as an impediment to their chances of winning. His coach gave him the moniker Harvester.

Today, sitting in the dining room of his magnificent house in Emakoko area, of Oloosirkon in Kitengela, Harvester told Kajiado Star that the unfortunate event brought his football playing career to a halt.

“We had gone for a highly anticipated match deep in Kenyawa area,” he recalls. “The game had attracted a number of dignitaries who included the late Daniel ole Muyaa, who was the chairman of the defunct Olkejuado County Council.”

Harvester had been forewarned that supporters of the opposing team had plotted ‘something’ against him, but he did not give much thought to it.

“To the best of my knowledge, I thought that the ‘encounter’ would take place in the playing field and I was fine with that,” explains Harvester. “I was however not prepared for the attack.”

After the incident, the leaders and elders gathered made a firm declaration calling an end to the football tournaments as a way of ending the hooliganism.

To date Harvester still bears a scar at the back of his head, testimony to the grief he gave opposing players on the football pitch.

That was then. Today Harvester is a respected leader not only in Kitengela, but in the entire Kajiado East, where he has been at the forefront in fighting for the rights of the common man and those of the community in general. From land issues to matters of human wildlife conflict, Harvester has never shied off from addressing them.

A case in point is the Goat and Sheep ranch in Mavoko constituency in Machakos County, where the Kaputiei Community has been fighting to wrest from the hands of a number of national government agencies.

“Our people have been fighting to get back the 3,000 acre land, since 1978,” says the soft spoken Harvester. “Upon the advice of current Land CS, we formed the Empakassi Olera Trust. We have lodged a case in court, whose ruling is set to be delivered in October 5.”

They are represented in court by senior counsels James Orengo and Tom Ojienda. In all the court appearances, the respondents, Kenya Meat Commission and the Kenya Wildlife Services have failed to make appearances.

That is not all, in 2014 Harvester, who is secretary of the Kitengela Ilpakuo Land Owners Association, lodged a petition in Parliament, which saw a committee of 11 MPs visit the site to assess the situation. Parliament later made a finding that the land belongs to the community.

“We also followed up with Ketraco, which compensated us for their power lines passing through the land,” he says, adding that part of the proceeds went into building a primary and secondary school, paying educational bursaries for needy students and sinking two boreholes.

Another issue close to harvester’s heart is Human/Wildlife Conflicts. Harvester is especially critical of the Kenya Wildlife Compensation Bill, 2013, which he says is lopsided.

“The Bills says that every human killed by a wild animal is liable to be paid sh5 million, while a human who kills a wild animal can be fined sh20 million or be jailed for life or both,” says harvester adding that the Bill appears not to value human life.

“While we acknowledge that wild animals too have rights, human rights should have prominence over those of animals. Besides, the animals keep encroaching on our land as areas reserved for animals are not fenced off,” he explains. “Just the other day we were in Kenyawa area to raise funds for a number of families who had their relatives killed by elephants.”

Seeing how committed Harvester is in fighting for the rights of the people, he has been receiving a number of delegations by people asking him to contest the Kajiado East parliamentary seat. “I have given the issued a lot of thought, made wide consultations and I have resolved that I will be vying for the seat in 2022,” he avers.

He now enters the crowded field of contestants eyeing the Kajiado East seat, whose current occupant, Peris Tobiko, has indicated that she will be challenging Joseph ole Lenku for the governor’s seat.

So what makes Harvester think he is the right fit for the seat? “Well, for one I have the solutions for the many problems affecting the people of Kajiado East, besides I have been working with the people despite the fact that I am not elected. I have paid school fees for countless children, sometimes using my own money,” explains Harvester.

He adds that being a cosmopolitan constituency, Kajiado East has unique problems that require to be handled with the sensitivity. “Rural areas like Imaroro and Kenyawa Poka cannot be handled the same way as the urban Kitengela.” He explains. “While the rural areas grapple with issues of human wildlife conflict, the people of Kitengela have to deal with perennial lack of water and bad roads.”

On the issue of water, he wonders why the people of Kitengela have to endure thirst when a whole pipeline has been put in place. “It is only bad politics that is preventing the people of Kitengela from accessing fresh water. I will work very closely with the governor of the day to ensure that the people have water, since it is a devolved function,” he says.

The other pressing issue for the people of Kitengela is roads. He gives an example of the Kitengela Rongai road that passes through the quarries in Ngurunga. “Building materials including stones, ballast and pozzolana, that is used in the manufacture if cement, are mined from this place, yet the road is impassable,” says harvester.

“Once I am elected in Parliament, I would make road construction my number one priority. This is the only constituency bordering Nairobi with very little road network.”

“I am also a businessman in Kitengela so I understand the problems they undergo. Once proper infrastructure is put in place, the economy of this place opens up. Besides most of the raw materials for building roads are to be found here,” he adds.

After finishing his secondary school education, 47-year-old Harvester enrolled for a certificate in Land Survey and Mapping. He followed it up with a diploma in Business Administration. “I later enrolled for Bachelor of Commerce (Marketing option) at the Nazarene University and topped it up with a Masters in the same field, still at Nazarene, in 2018.”

 

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