A bishop who won a landmark case against the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) is among candidates seeking to be elected senator of Taita-Taveta County.
Bishop Donald Kisaka Mwawasi, who has been living in the United States for 30 years, was barred by IEBC from vying for the seat in 2013 due to his dual citizenship, forcing him to move to the High Court.
He sought orders declaring that a Kenyan who holds dual citizenship could contest an elective office.
COURT OF APPEAL
He was motivated by a landmark provision of the 2010 that allowed Kenyans to hold dual citizenship.
The primate however suffered a setback when High Court judge David Majanja upheld the commission’s position on the matter.
He would however be vindicated when the Court of Appeal overturned the High Court decision in 2014.
But it was too late, as the elections had been held and Bishop Mwawasi had to wait for three years to re-launch his political bid, this time in the 2017 General Election.
His immense contribution to the country’s jurisprudence notwithstanding, the man of the cloth will have to prove his political mettle when he locks horns with six seasoned politicians also eyeing the seat.
They are Woman Representative Joyce Wanjala Lay of Jubilee Party, Mr Jones Mwaruma (ODM), Mr Elijah Mwandoe (Wiper), Mr Cleophas Ngeti (Ford-Kenya), Dr Harun Mwadali (Thirdway Alliance) and Anna Kina (Kanu).
Bishop Mwawasi, who is contesting on an Agano Party ticket, says his vision to improve the lives of the residents will win him the votes.
“If elected, I will not only improve the quality of life for my people but also modernise the county for people to enjoy their everyday life,” he said.
QUALITY OF LIFE
Despite having moved to the US in 1987 with his wife and two children, Bishop Mwawasi says he always wanted to be in his country to serve the nation.
He pledges to exploit the networks he has built through his extensive exposure abroad to ensure that residents access clean water, air, environment and housing.
“In this initiative, we will explore new opportunities and eventually achieve the desired high quality of life that every citizen of this county deserves,” Bishop Mwawasi said.
RELIGION AND POLITICS
Apart from his political pledges, Bishop Mwawasi, together with other Kenyan education stakeholders and Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Massachusetts, USA, founded Kenya University Project, which is set to be built in Taita-Taveta late this year at a cost of Sh15 billion.
The bishop is the founder of Coast Redeemed Gospel Churches of Kenya, now Jesus Celebration Centre (JCC).
He also opened his own Believers Celebration Centre ministry in Atlanta, Georgia, in the US, which he says is in good hands with his pastors.
Asked whether it was right for the clergy to leave the pulpit and seek political posts, the bishop said the society would only be transformed when godly leaders were in elective positions.