How the late chair of Nzoia County Council Samson Bunyasi dominated Trans Nzoia politics for over four decades
Written by Leonard Wamalwa
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As residents of Trans Nzoia County and the entire North Rift region including Western continue mourned the death of Nzoia County Council chairman Samson Wasike Bunyasi, a rich history of the deceased's political history is something that many will have to remember and admire.
Born in Chesamisi village of now Kimilili District of Bungoma County, 73 years ago, Bunyasi rose to become one of the most consistent politician, farmer and businessman within Trans Nzoia and Bungoma counties.
Bunyasi who before his death was one of the long serving county council chairmen in the North Rift region, begun his life as a clerk to a white settler Angus Bridge until 1962 when he quit the whiteman's job.
He started a Matatu business within Trans Nzoia County whereby his vehicle ferried people from Chepchoina to Kitale town as he also ran a butchery business in Chepchoina before he was later elected to the council as Chepchoina ward councilor for the first time in 1965.
He was elected chairman of the council in 1969 and he was only out of the seat in 1988 when he lost his council seat during that year's general elections.
Bunyasi was elected chairman at the council in most of the years that he was elected to the council more than any other chairman in the history of Nzoia county council.
He was elected first as chairman in 1969 and went on till 1974, came back to chair again in 1983 to 1987 before he lost the ward's seat during the 1988 general elections before making a comeback to the chair again in 2008 to till his death mid of April 2012.
The late chairman who was described by fellow leaders as a peacemaker and principled person was a family man with three homes in Chepchoina where he was voted to the council all his years in politics, Ndalu and Lukhuna in Bungoma County.
Apart from politics, Bunyasi was also a famous farmer in both Bungoma and Trans Nzoia where he had hundreds of acres of land under maize and other crops such as wheat and beans.
He was also a contracted seed farmer for the country's major seed producing company Kenya Seed where he was said to be planting over 100 acres of seed maize for the company.
He hailed from the Omukitang'a clan and was circumcised in the age set of Bukusu's Omunyange number four group of 1954.
Many describe him as a hardworking person who loved education and other development activities that generated resources to improve on the economy.
The late's first wife Lenah Wasike at their Ndalu home of Bungoma North District.
The late 73-year politician is expected to be laid to rest Saturday April 5 in his first wife's home in Ndalu Bungoma North district.
Earlier on the body was received at the Nzoia county council offices in Kitale whereby members of the public paid their last respect before being taken to his Chepchoina home in Kwanza district then to Lukhuna home before finally arriving at his last home of rest in Ndalu.