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EXCLUSIVE: Gaucho clears the air on Bunge la Mwanachi polls

Activist Calvince Okoth, popularly known as Gaucho, has declared his intent to continue serving as the Bunge la Mwananchi president until the next election, which he believes will likely happen in 2026.

Gaucho, the current defacto president of the movement, exclusively told Nairobi News he had received an ‘endorsement’ to extend his tenure.

“Elections were initially scheduled for August 2023, which implies there won’t be another election until 2026. Therefore, I remain the president of Bunge la Mwananchi,” he stated.

This statement from Gaucho came in response to assertions made by Patrick Githinji, also known as Kamotho, and Asenabi Moha, who expressed his intentions to vie for the position.

According to Githinji and Moha, the elections were slated for October 2023.

However, Gaucho maintained he had no information regarding the election dates, as the original election schedule had already passed.

He added, “I have no information about any planned elections. Furthermore, it should be noted that to hold an election, you must have the support of at least 17 counties. Besides, conducting an election with only two candidates is not feasible.”

Gaucho emphasized the importance of adhering to the movement’s constitution, stating, “If they have set a date, it must align with the constitution.”

Bunge la Wananchi was started as a social movement in the early 1990s during the one-party state with intent to keep the ruling government in check.

In the early years, the president would rule for several years before a new leader was chosen. But things changed and the election periods were also shortened.

Bunge la Wananchi has membership in 26 counties.

Jeevanjee Gardens is the headquarters of the movement.

The movement elects its president after every two years.

The election of the president, the deputy, the speaker, and the Woman representative is always done at the headquarters.

During the elections, each county sends four delegates to the headquarters to vote on behalf of the members.

After members have cast their votes in the secret ballot paper, the votes are counted, and the winners, after two weeks, are sworn in.

Bunge la Wananchi has active members from Mombasa, Kakamega, Busia, Migori, Homa Bay, Kisumu, Siaya, Meru, Embu, Kiambu, Kajiado, Machakos, Makueni, Kilifi, Turkana, Baringo, Bungoma, Eldoret, Nakuru, Kisii counties

Gaucho has made a name for criticising President William Ruto over among other matters, the high cost of living. His words have landed him in trouble as he has been arrested on a number of occasions and hauled before court.

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