Akothee's estranged sister Elseba Awuor Kokeyo alias Cebbie has been nominated by the Jubilee party to serve as a Member of the County Assembly (MCA) in Migori for the period 2022 - 2027.
Cebbie's nomination sparked an angry reaction from a section of netizens who claimed she didn't win the nomination slot by merit.
Accusations of 'dynasty' emerged after the Jubilee party nominated Cebbie to serve as MCA in Migori county assembly.
Politics runs in Akothee’s family. Her father, Joshua Owino Kokeyo, is a former District Officer and her mother, Monica Yunita Kokeyo served as MCA in Migori from 2013 to 2017.
In November 2019, Migori governor Okoth Obado appointed Akothee's mother to serve as the vice-chairperson of Awendo Municipal board.
"I was born in power by a powerful woman. That is a video of my mum being sworn in as vice-chairperson of the Awendo Municipal Board. Hongera mama.," Akothee congratulated her mom on being sworn in.
Akothee's sister denies claims of dynasty
Cebbie has come out to passionately defend her nomination insisting that she won the slot by merit and not because of her family's political connections.
Akothee's estranged sister explained why she deserves the Jubilee nomination in a lengthy post on social media.
DEBUNKING THE FALLACIES OF WOMEN NOMINATIONS
Ms. Cebbie Kokeyo is a Kenyan youth leader, mentor and entrepreneur, born and raised in North Sakwa Ward, Awendo Constituency, Migori County, within the Republic of Kenya.
Most recently, I have been nominated by the Jubilee Party, a founding member of the Azimio Coalition Party, to serve as a Member of the County Assembly of Migori for the period 2022 - 2027. This call to duty, in and of itself, whether confirmed or not, is testimony of appreciation of talent and industry by political party luminaries.
A lot has been said, mostly in the negative, about nomination of young women leaders to positions of leadership. I have seen insinuations that such nominations are anything but merit driven.
As a leader and beneficiary of the gender top up framework, I have a residual obligation to debunk such fallacies. To begin with, it is a constitutional imperative that each County Assembly shall comprise of not less than two-thirds of either gender.
Political parties have developed a framework for implementation of the "Two-Thirds Gender Principle." Within this framework, qualified women are required to apply to their political parties to be nominated to serve in the County Assemblies.
The applications, as I know them, are processed on merit. At least, I can articulate the merits of my own application.
I hold a Bachelor of Science Degree in Communication and Public Relations, Second Class Honours, Upper Division, from Moi University, Eldoret.
Further, I hold a Masters' Degree in International Relations from the United States International University-Africa (USIU). My Masters' Thesis focused on: "The Role of European Union in Kenya's Democratization Process (2019)."
At the very minimum, my subject of intellectual inquiry at Masters' level discloses a genuine interest in Kenya's democratization process. On this score, alone, the interest in governance and politics, is self-evident.
As part of my contribution to the intellectual academy, I was the lead author in co-published paper titled:
"Influence of Political Dynasty on Economic Growth of Developing Countries: A Case Study of Selected African Countries," Stratford Peer Reviewed Journals & Books, Vol.1 No.1 (2017). This paper is accessible online.
Interesting to note, that I considered the question of political dynasties in 2017, well before it gained momentum as part of the 2022 election campaign sloganeering.
I have also taken the initiative to enroll for PhD in International Relations at USIU. My research interest is steeped in politics and governance.
This is a spiritual and intellectual inquiry, that has nothing to do with the present nomination. Yet the confluence of interest, is all the more notable.
If I argue that my nomination is merit-based, it is just that. The factual matrix flowing from my academic qualifications support a merit-based claim to this nomination. You would have to be a fool or a crook to challenge that.
LEADERSHIP AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP:
I have a cumulative total of more than eight years of experience as a PR Practitioner and Strategist.
I have previously worked in the Office of the Governor's Press Unit, Migori County. During my tenure at the County, I made significant contributions.
Notably, having joined the Governor's Press Unit in 2014, at a time when the newly elected county governments were just setting up structures, I was instrumental in establishing and publishing Migori County Newsletters and positioning the County as a vision and purpose-driven County. To date, Migori County is arguably Nyanza's foremost development orientated County.
I have also represented Migori County at the Youth Senate Kenya. The Youth Senate is an independent, non-partisan development and advocacy youth serving organization working towards a just, equitable and progressive society where young people fully enjoy their economic, social and political rights and opportunities.
Founded in 2014, the Youth Senate was created specifically to spearhead a Youth Led Development Model in Kenya with a mandate to enrich a democratic dialogue and ensure youth engagement in national and regional affairs.
It is a natural expectation that having served in the Youth Senate, I have incubated talent and acumen that can be tapped and projected to a larger and more complex governance space.
As a Youth Leader, who is fiercely passionate about politics, human rights, socio-economic inclusion and good governance, I championed for the ratification of the African Charter in Democracy, Election and Governance (ACDEG Kenya Chapter). To this limited but eminent contribution, Hon. Ken Obura is an able referee.
I have also had the occasion to represent Kenya's youth in various fora in East and West Africa. During these interventions, I had the rare chance to share platforms with High-Level decision makers, including especially, H.E President Kagame, H.E The Prime Minister of Namibia, and legislators from different African countries.
The impact and influence of such networks in incubating leadership capabilities cannot be over-emphasised.
The organizing philosophy driving my participation in governance and leadership is one of politics with passion. To this end, I'm passionate about civic education, and I do so to create a critical mass of active citizens capable of holding their leaders to account, while demanding inclusion in political and decision making processes.
I sit in different boards of nongovernmental organizations in Migori County, including Msichana Empowerment where I serve as a Global Advisory Board Member; and Geno Epilepsy Center of Empowerment- an all Girls and Women-led and centered non-profit community-based organization in Kenya, founded in 2013 to address Ending Female Genital Mutilation.
It would be remiss not mention the mentorship programs for students and pupils under a program dubbed #Boostagirlsconfidence #savesaboysdignity. In this space, I mobilize sanitary towels for girls, and books for boys through "The Beth Odek Foundation."
In 2021, I mentored young learners in more than 10 primary and 7 secondary schools. I paid, from my personal resources, fees for 5 young girls on their admission to High School.
Additionally, I have a solid track record as a woman entrepreneur. I am the Founder of Virtual Twenty One, www.virtual21.co.ke a private limited liability company, which specialises in PR, Marketing and Advertisement. The company has a portofio of five youthful staff. I am also the Founder of Kisumu's Ritzy Nail Bar, a beauty clinic that has employed and empowered more than 5 young women and 2 trainees.
Presently, I serve as Head of PR and Administration at Saroni & Stevens Advocates, a full service Law Firm located at Williamson House, Upperhill, Nairobi.
As a youth under the age of 35, I believe I have achieved key milestones that can inspire my peers, and encourage young girls emerging out of schools and colleges.
If I get a chance to serve in Migori County Assembly, it will be a continuation of a leadership journey punctuated with strength and determination, competence and resilience. I have no doubt in my mind, that I shall positively impact the work of the Assembly.
I must salute our young and brave women who fight for inclusion in leadership and governance spaces in a country that is largely patriarchal and sexist.
Until we learn to make all voices count;
Until we learn to limit the compulsion to remove women from productive spaces; and
Until we stop relegating women to the peripheries of leadership, the vision of inclusion and making all voices count shall remain a mirage.
Meanwhile, to those mean-spirited people who think Cebbie cannot make it on her own unless propped up by some unknown people, I say to you today: EXPAND THE SCOPE OF YOUR IMAGINATION.