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The origin of Bunge la Wananchi! Who is Gaucho?

By Winnie Onyando November 19th, 2022 2 min read

Bunge la Wananchi was started as a social movement in the early 1990s during the one-party state.

The main reason why Bunge la Wananchi was created was to keep the ruling government in check.

According to the President of the movement Calvince Okoth Gaucho, the social movement has been fighting for the rights of common mwananchi since its creation.

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Narrating the history, Gaucho said that its leadership structure resembles the one of the national government as it has a president, deputy, speaker, and members.

“In the early years, the President would rule for several years before a new leadres is chosen. But things changed and the election periods were also shortened,” narrates Gaucho.

Bunge la Wananchi has membership in 26 counties.

Jeevanjee Gardens is currently the headquarters of the movement.

“We have members from different counties. Each county has a speaker, but I am the overall leader,” Gaucho added.

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Election of the President

Just like the General election, Bunge la Wananchi elect their President after every two years. 

The election of the President, the deputy, the speaker, and the women representative is always done at the headquarter, which is Jeevanjee Gardens.

At that time, each county sends four delegates to the headquarters to vote on behalf of the members.

Jeevanjee Gardens during the election are secured with askaris around.

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

After the leaders are sworn-in, they visit various counties for the members to familiarize themselves with them.

“Our politics is the same as that of National. We walk around asking for votes,” said Gaucho.

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

The next election will be held in August 2023.

According to Gaucho, the presidency has attracted more than 10 candidates.

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Duties in the current government

Bunge la Wananchi has acted as the ‘opposition’ voice in President William Ruto’s government.

After president Ruto ended Kazi Mtaani, Gaucho said the move left thousands of youths jobless.

They also criticized the government’s move to use bullets on robbers saying the government should invest in job creation.

On the other hand, Bunge la Mwananchi also criticized president Ruto’s announcement about investing in the manufacturing of cheap phones in the country.

They argue that Kenyans want cheap unga and not cheap phones.

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