Despite being hospitalised for many months after falling ill, Baringo South MP Grace Kipchoim has defied all odds and is now seeking a second term after sailing through in the Jubilee Party nominations.
Ms Kipchoim, got the confidence of her constituents when she trounced her male opponents despite her ill health that left her bed-ridden for months.
The MP has hit a number of first to make political history. She is from the minority Endorois community and garnered 8,149 votes against her closest opponent Mark Kiptoo Kebenei who got 4,253 votes during the nominations.
Other male opponents humbled by Ms Kipchoim during the party primaries included: William Tengecha who garnered 2,983 votes to emerge third, Paul Kimaru got 849 while Samati Kibet garnered 436 votes.
But the battle is expected to be tough following the entry of another woman, Cynthia Kipchilat, in the race, as an independent candidate, less than 20 days to the election day.
Analysts and residents say Ms Kipchoim’s commitment and courage in fighting against banditry in the region that it may have earned her the voter’s favour.
“She has done a lot to ensure that peace is restored in the region. In fact she should consider going for the county women representative seat in the future,” says Nicholas Koros, a Baringo County resident.
Ms Kipchoim is credited for being in the forefront in fighting outdated cultural practices including cattle rustling and Female Genital Mutilation among pastoralist communities in the region.
“The voice of the people is the voice of God. Good people, your voce has been heard loud and clear and I take this opportunity to sincerely thank you all for the overwhelming support,” said an elated Kipchoim after winning the primaries.
“I accept your nomination to fly the Jubilee ticket and I humbly request my worthy competitors to join hands together to ensure Baringo South is a better place,” added the legislator.
Born on January 3, 1962, Ms Kipchoim is a KCA University graduate. She has in the past served as the secretary, Baringo Central Constituency Development Fund (CDF).
The stage is now set for a bruising battle in Baringo South in the August 8 polls, with the grueling race being between the minority Ilchamus and Endorois communities.
Apart from Ms Chesikaw, others who will battle it out with Ms Kipchoim from Endorois is Charles Kamuren (Endorois) of Kanu and Amos Olempaka (ODM).
Ms Kipchoim beat Mr Kamuren by a small margin in the 2013 General Elections. Mr Kamuren unsuccessfully appealed the election outcome in court.
Ms Chesikaw who was a lecturer at Egerton University has however vowed to unseat Ms Kipchoim citing her academic background.
She said her main area of focus will be to empower youth to be self-reliant by assisting them enroll in technical institutions as opposed to depending on white collar jobs.
“I will ensure that our youth are empowered economically. We will also assist people living with disabilities by setting aside some funds for them to engage in income generating activities ,” Ms Chesikaw told the Nation.