When he went to look for a job in one of the flower farms in Naivasha more than fifteen years ago, Peter Wanjala Palang’a didn’t know that leadership was beckoning him, now that he is the MCA elect for Olkaria ward in Naivasha constituency in Nakuru County for a third term.
In an exclusive interview with West Media, Palang’a, as he is famously known, said having born and raised in Bungoma County and trained as a teacher, he failed to secure employment and decided to move to Naivasha where he secured a job in the flower farms.
He said he went up in rank to become the workers’ leader in their union where he fought for their rights including better working conditions and salary increment, and that made him a darling of the workers, though he revealed he was hated in equal measure.
He was fired and went back to Bungoma County, but due to his character, the residents of Olkaria pleaded with him to go back and vie for the councilor seat as it was known by then before the 2007 general election, which he obliged.
He said despite the fact that he was not born in Olkaria, he blended well with the residents saying the area is cosmopolitan and the residents liked his ideologies and voted for him overwhelmingly.
Hon Peter Palang’a said since then he hasn’t looked back and has dedicated his life to serving the people of Olkaria saying his commitment has been his strength as the residents re-elected him in 2013 and have also given him a chance to serve them in the just concluded general election.
Ironically he has vied on an ODM ticket even though the area is perceived as a Jubilee stronghold, and the residents had no issue with that saying as long as he delivers his main agenda they don’t care about his party ticket.
Having his roots in Bungoma County, Hon Palang’a said the residents of Western Kenya need to unite in order to bag the country leadership, saying other communities have displayed a sense of leadership but the Luhya community has failed to even front one kingpin.
Peter further noted that if he has been elected as a leader where he wasn’t born, then tribal politics can be done away with, saying people should focus on what a leader offers more given that leadership is a gift from God.
Regarding his future ambitions, he said several people from Naivasha and his home constituency Webuye West have urged him to vie as an MP, and he is still weighing his options.
The MCA elect advised people not to give up in life and to fully pursue their dreams, saying where there is a will there is a way.