Martin Pepela becomes first albino to win MP seat
Thirty-seven-year-old Mr Martin Wanyonyi Pepela has surprised many by being the first albino to be elected into National Assembly.
While Isaac Mwaura, also living with albinism, has served two terms in parliament, he was nominated in both cases, first by ODM and then Jubilee Party.
Mr Pepela a second term Bungoma MCA, won the Webuye East constituency seat on a Ford Kenya party ticket. He garnered 11,600 votes and was followed by DAP-K’s Dr Iyaya Wanjala who got 4,200 votes. Others in the race were Caroline Buyela of Jubilee, Aggrey Namisi of ODM, Job Chelongo of UDP and Noah Chiuli who was an independent candidate.
Mr Pepela was first nominated as an MCA on the New Ford Kenya party ticket in 2013 to represent persons with disabilities. He then vied as an independent candidate in 2017 General Election and won the seat before joining Ford Kenya ahead of the 2022 elections.
Mr Pepela fought against all odds and won in three quarters of the polling stations across the three wards of Maraka, Mihuu and Ndivisi.
Speaking to Daily Nation on Wednesday Mr Pepela said that he was happy with the electorates of Webuye East for believing in him to replace outgoing lawmaker Mr Alfred Sambu.
Mr Sambu who was elected on an ANC party ticket in 2017 did not defend his seat on grounds of poor health and old age.
Mr Pepela said that following the victory many Kenyans with albinism have at least something to smile about as far as their interest in political, social and economic affairs are concerned.
“I want to thank my people of Webuye East constituency for believing in me and joining me in writing the history by ensuring the first albino is elected into parliament,” he said.
Mr Pepela who is also the Chairperson of people living with albinism in Western region said that he will spearhead agenda of persons living with disabilities in the national assembly.
“Despite we having achieved all this we still have a long way to go in ensuring our people live well in the community,” he said. “We as people living with albinism are happy that the state has given us adequate security during the elections period.”
His opponent Mr Namisi conceded defeat and promised to join hands with Mr Pepela and transform the constituency.