Is marriage a factor to run for an elective seat in this country? Culturally speaking this is a valid question that discourages the majority of youths from contesting. Constitutionally, it is not.
However, this is not an impediment to Timothy Kiplagat Korir who is contesting for the Trans Nzoia governor's seat on an independent ticket.
Speaking to supporters, Korir who is a bachelor, stated that his marital status did not deter him from contesting the hotly contested race.
He added that he had identified a lady whom he has already introduced to his parents.
“You know most of the time, you look for an opportunity first then you marry. You don’t marry for you to get an opportunity. As we speak, I have introduced a lady to my family. I am just waiting for the day I will be sworn in as the Governor. With my first salary, I will hold a very big wedding,” Korir said.
The 31-year-old ambitious Actuarial Science graduate from the University of Nairobi affirmed that leadership was not based on one's marital status but rather their vision and desire to influence people for good.
“Things have changed. Married leaders who we thought could provide good leadership have failed us. I am not saying I will remain a bachelor forever” he said.
Korir, who resides in Kapsitwet area said his long-term vision is to become the President of Kenya.
“I have been a leader from my childhood days. My long-term desire is to be the President of Kenya but before that, I want to change the lives of this great county of Trans Nzoia. I believe the two elective seats are the ones you can use to transform the country” Korir said.
Experts give their opinion on Korir's sentiments
K24 Digital sought comment from Nicholas Wamalwa, a leadership and governance consultant regarding the concept of marriage in politics.
According to Wamalwa: "Marriage is not a factor. Even President Daniel Moi remained single after he was widowed and he diligently performed his duties. Many unmarried MPs have been performing their duties well. But marriage is good in other aspects; not a guarantee of good leadership,” Wamalwa said.
Similarly, Jacob Kamomai, a medical expert in West Pokot County noted that marriage is a very integral aspect of leadership, especially among the Kalenjin community.
“Marriage is where leadership skills are sharpened. Kalenjins believe that if you cannot handle the family institution, then you cannot be trusted with the leadership of any nature,” he stated.