From Earning Ksh80 to Parliament: Molo MP's Story

  • Molo Member of Parliament Kuria kimani at his Home
    Molo Member of Parliament Francis Kuria Kimani at his Home.
  • Francis Kuria Kimani is one of the youngest Member of Parliament in Kenya whose election came as a surprise to him and an inspiration to many - particularly the youth.

    In an interview withThe Hot Seat on Sunday, April 19, Kimani explained some of the challenges that he had gone through while being brought up by a single mother who received support from his grandparents. 

    Going to school was one of the challenges that he went through right from primary school.

    MP Kuria Kimani and Uganda's opposition leader Bobi Wine at past function in 2020
    MP Kuria Kimani and Uganda's opposition leader Bobi Wine at past function in 2020.

    Despite the odds, Kimani managed to pass his Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) emerging as one of the top students in Molo Sub-county. However, his joy immediately became a nightmare because his family could not afford to take him to secondary school.

    His primary school headteacher advised his family to enroll him to a day school as they sought financial aid with the hope of later transferring him to boarding school.

    “I was running crazy because of the things that were happening in my life. I was advised to go and see a psychiatrist,” Kimani said.   

    According to the MP, the high school journey was the toughest because the school was located far away from his home in Mukinyai in Sachangwan.

    He would take a matatu to school and even though the fare was only Ksh5 in the early 2000s, he often could not afford it. Luckily, he became friends with one of the drivers who later resorted to carrying him to school for free.

    He continued with his studies until he sat for Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) in 2006 after which he went back to the village and tried looking for a job while waiting for his results.

    His uncle got him a job at a dairy farm where he would earn Ksh80 in a day which was also part of his fare to work.

    MP Kuria Kimani issuing a Women Empowerment Fund cheque to residents s onApril 18, 2021
    MP Kuria Kimani issuing a Women Empowerment Fund cheque to residents s on April 18, 2021

    When the result finally came out, he had scored an A- (minus). He was called to study Library and Information Science at Kenyatta University but partially accepted it as he had always wanted to be a banker.

    After enrolling at KU, he changed the course to Bachelor of Commerce in Finance. While in his second year, Kimani decided to do a Certified Public Accountant course as a self-taught student.

    After completing the two courses, he started his search for employment, recalling that the frustrations he went through while tarmacking for jobs in Nairobi almost pushed him into giving up. 

    “I sent my application to all the banks headquarters in Nairobi. I never got any response. I would then visit the bank branches and when asked what I wanted, I would say I will soon be your colleague,” he narrated.

    Luckily, he got employed in 2011 as a junior employee and advanced to become the Regional Finance Manager for Maryknoll Fathers & Brothers.

    With some income, he would visit his rural home occasionally and during these visits, he would interact with people asking for financial help which reminded him of how his life growing up was. The need to help others pushed him to join politics.

    In 2017, he decided to run for MP in Molo Constituency and was elected on a Jubilee ticket.

    When asked about his take on his role as a young MP and the expectations of the youth, he admitted that they – young MPs - had not fulfilled the promises they made to voters.

    “We have not lived to the expectation of young people. That is a fact. Most of us are fresh in politics. When it comes to leadership in the house, the best committee positions are taken by experienced MPs,” Kimani explained.

    One of his greatest achievements was in February 2020 when he was elected as the first chairperson of the Africa Young Parliamentarians Caucus. 

    This achievement placed him at a position where he would be part of people making decisions on major issues affecting youths from the Continent of Africa.

    Though Kimani is still learning his way around the political corridors of Kenya, he says that he is grateful that he got a chance to give back to society.

    Watch the video below courtesy of The Hot Seat: