Jonathan Bii's Story of Resilience: Governor-Elect Clinches Seat After 20-Yrs of Trial & Error

  • Uasin Gishu Governor-elect, Jonathan Bii during campaign rally in the region
    Uasin Gishu Governor-elect, Jonathan Bii during campaign rally in the region
  • If resilience was to be defined politically, then Uasin Gishu governor-elect, Jonathan Bii, is the perfect embodiment of the never give up spirit.

    Bii first tried his hand in elective politics in 1997 after joining the Eldoret North constituency race and faced off with Deputy President, William Ruto.

    In the subsequent elections, he continued with his pursuit for an elective seat but still lost to Ruto who reigned supreme until 2013 when the constituency was split into two; Turbo and Soi.

    In the 2017 General Election, Bii tried his luck again in the Soi parliamentary seat on a KANU ticket but lost to Caleb Kositany. Kositany ran on a Jubilee Party ticket.

    Ruto signs contracts with the 47 counties
    Deputy President William Ruto addresses delegates at the CUEA on Friday, August 5 during the signing of the covenants with the counties.

    After 20 years of unsuccessful trials, however, Bii finally joined the class of elected leaders after being declared the Uasin Gishu governor-elect.

    Bii's journey to the top seat begun when he successfully won the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) nomination in an area that predominantly supported the candidature of Ruto.

    In the party primaries held in April, Bii garnered 71,152 votes against his close competitor, Ambassador Julius Bitok, who garnered 59,001 votes.

    Among the politicians he defeated during the primaries was his chief rival in the 2017 election Caleb Kositany, Ambassador Julius Bitok, and former Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) chairperson, Sarah Serem.

    In the August 9 General Eection, Bii garnered 214,036 votes against 127,013 votes of his main challenger, Zedekiah Bundotich - who was running for the second time.

    Bii - popularly known as Koti Moja - stated in a past interview that the nickname played a critical role in his election bid.

    “I took the name and owned it and fortunately it resonated well with the electorate and my manifesto,” Bii stated in an interview with Nation.Africa.

    Bundotich, on the other hand, lost his second stab at the county top seat. He first threw his hat into elective politics in 2017 as an Independent candidate but lost to then governor, Jackson Mandago.

    Bii also trounced former CEO of the Agricultural Development Corporation, William Kirwa, who came in third position.

    He takes over from Mandago, who successfully contested for the Senate eat in this year's election.

    Uasin Gishu governor Jackson Mandago
    Uasin Gishu governor Jackson Mandago