The race for the Uasin Gishu County woman representative seat has heated up as Gladys Boss Shollei, who won decisively in the Jubilee Party nominations, faces a stiff competition from youthful independent candidate Rael Jebichii Lelei.
The 30-year-old Ms Lelei, opted to go independent after she was defeated by Mrs Shollei, the former Registrar of the Judiciary, during Jubilee primaries.
A newcomer to politics, Ms Lelei, a Moi University law graduate, has vowed to turn tables on Mrs Shollei and romp home with the win on August 8.
Should she be elected the next Uasin Gishu County MP, Ms Lelei promises to facilitate formation and registration of women groups and Saccos in the entire county, and link them to financial institutions.
“I will also create an advisory board for women in every ward that will be advising me on the needs of women at the grassroots. I call on the people to give me an opportunity to serve you. You will not regret voting for me,” said Ms Lelei who is making her debut in elective politics.
She has also promised to create a data base of youth in the villages who dropped out of school, and assist them to get life skills and nurture their talents.
The others in the race are Ms Grace Kemboi of Maendeleo Chap Chap, Ms Jepkorir Moira running on Amani National Congress (ANC) and KANU’s Josephine Cheruto.
The incumbent Eusla Ng’eny opted out of the County MP’s race to vie for the Soy Parliamentary seat, but lost Jubilee Party’s Caleb Kositany.
On her part, a confident Mrs Shollei is seeking to use the political platform to make a comeback to the national limelight, after leaving the Judiciary in 2013 over a cloud of allegations of abuse of office, which she denies.
The Jubilee Party candidate also a lawyer, defends her tenure at the Judiciary arguing that she achieved a lot despite being hounded out of office. She cites the signing of what she says was the largest United Nations (UN) grant for the judiciary.
“I don’t regret being in the judiciary. I’m now stronger than I was. At least I don’t have to argue with judges about their Mercedes vehicles not working well. I know my work is cut out in Uasin Gishu County and I’m ready to offer my expertise to the people,” Mrs Shollei said in an interview with the Nation Monday.
The mother of four, says her decision to plunge into elective politics was just a coincidence after she came face to face with problems affecting the people at the grassroots.
If elected, she promises to champion the return of the roll call in Parliament, to rein in on legislators who skip sessions.
The University of Nairobi law graduate has also pledged to help reach out to all communities in Uasin Gishu County and help rid out ethnic politics in the region which was the epicentre of 2007/2008 post-election violence.
“I call upon my fellow politicians to desist from making ethnic utterances. We should stop being self-obsessed with our tribes,” says Mrs Shollei.
The former Judiciary registrar and seven others are facing charges of abuse of office in connection with more than Sh150 million allegedly for the construction of the prefabricated court buildings in Tawa, Mavoko and Garsen without approval of the tender committee.
She cites the signing of what she says was the largest United Nations grant for the judiciary.