ODM aspirant for Railways Ward Peter Ochieng aka Surubeng’s poster mounted at Kisumu’s Juakali area on April 22,2017. Despite having hand drawn posters to promote his bid to clinch the seat, he is optimistic unlike others who have properly printed campaign posters. (Photo: Denish Ochieng/ Standard)
While his opponents have invested heavily in expensive banners, posters, billboards as well as campaign trucks, one aspirant in Kisumu has surprised many in Railways ward by choosing to draw his posters.
Peter Ochieng, a father of five and a mechanic, has vowed not to let his poor financial status block him from his quest to become a Member of the County Assembly.
Ochieng, popularly known has Suru Beng, has become a darling among many who have praised him for his creativity at a time when many politicians are opting for expensive campaigns with some even investing in choppers.
Unlike his opponents who have supporters wearing branded shirts, Ochieng has supporters who are loyal to him and carry his posters and banners made out of sacks and manila paper.
He said a number of his supporters have now also chipped in to draw his image on sacks and carry them as banners while chanting his slogans.
When The Standard met him at Jua Kali area in Kisumu, the 41-year-old man from Kendu Bay was on a door-to-door campaign.
A group of his supporters accompanied him carrying his posters and a banner.
He said it was his second time to dabble in politics after he unsuccessfully contested for the position of a councillor in 2007 in the same area.
“When I started this back in 2007, my wife and a number of my friends thought I was joking but after a while, they started believing in my quest to represent our people,” said Ochieng.
In that year, however, he was defeated at the nominations and after being unable to raise enough money in the 2013 polls, he opted not to contest.
This year, however, Ochieng says he has seen elected leaders do very little in the four years of devolution and has come out to change the trend.
Ochieng noted that he has more than 1,000 posters across the ward and will be adding more as the electioneering heat continues to increase.
He was not cleared by ODM to contest because he could not raise the nomination fee before the deadline for submission and now is seeking to register as an independent candidate.
“I will register as an independent candidate and I am currently trying to marshal people to help me raise some funds to help me with the quest,” he said.
Ochieng joins a list of aspirants who have opted to go for creative and cheap ways of conducting elections.
In Uashin Gishu County, a man seeking to unseat Governor Jackson Mandago in the August 8 polls has shocked many after hitting the road on a bicycle to popularise his bid.