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25/03/2013

Meet 19 year old Alfred Kibiwott Munge- Kenya’s youngest County Ward Rep.


Alfred Kibiwott Munge passes out as any other ordinary teenager on the streets.
However, the 19-year-old made history by being elected the youngest member of county assembly in the just concluded elections.
Munge, who cleared Form Four in 2011, is soft spoken. His answers to questions are terse. But despite this, Munge was able to convince over 3,000 residents who voted for him to be the first member of County Assembly for Perkerra Lembus ward in
Koibatek town, Baringo town.

“He is different when he stands in front of a crowd,” says his close friend Trevor Rerimoi.
Indeed, Munge was able to address rallies in the area to get votes.
“I held rallies across the ward to woo voters,” he said.
His oratical skills in front of a crowd are wonderful. He employs humour and wit which leaves his listeners in stitches as they break in laughter and wild cheers.

“Tumia muda mfupi kipigia kura kijana mfupi jumatatu (use the shortest time possible to vote for the shortest candidate),” said Munge to a crowd while seeking for votes at Kabimoi.
His election is seen by many as a revolution where the young generation is taking up the mantle of leadership. Munge was contesting against Musa Ng’etich, 48, Paul Serem, 38, and Desmond Boit, 30.

“This is breaking from the old Kalenjin myths and legends that young men should not lead. It is now about issues and who can deliver. With this trend, economic and social change is coming from Perkera Lembus ward to Baringo County and to Kenya,” said Munge.
Munge, who vied on a URP ticket, said he was humbled by the win because of the immense support from
both the young and old generation.

“When I was starting, so many things were against me. First was the perception that a young man, not married and worse still who just cleared school cannot lead,” he said.
He says he was able to beat this by giving examples to residents of great leaders who in their tender ages were thrust into leadership positions and they never disappointed.
“I told them to trust me that I was their son and feel the same challenges and was best placed to tackle them,” he says.

His father, Eric Munge said at first, he was worried when his son said he wanted to try his hand in politics.
“I was worried because I wanted him to proceed to the university. I also knew what it means to be in politics. It needs immense resources which we do not have,” he said.

Holiday celebrations
He added, “But when he persisted, I gave in and monitored him closely and after few rallies, I realised he had passion and had won the confidence of the electorate.”
Munge said his son has always fascinated him since childhood because he never missed national celebrations and always acted ‘bigger’ than his age.

“He could put on my coat which was of course oversized and a tie during national holiday celebrations. It was hilarious but to him he was okay,” said the father.

Kibiwott said his win was truly a win for the young people and said he will work hard not to disappoint.
“This is a victory for young people and a clear indication they have what it takes to lead this country,” he said.

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