“This far, I attribute the success of my journey to the Almighty God through whom I have moved mountains and crossed deep oceans of life,” Bungoma Governor-elect Kenneth Makelo Lusaka told KNA in an interview on Thursday.
Lusaka was born on 18th September, 1963 in Kamukuywa, Bungoma County in the former Western Province.
He attended his primary school at AC Mapela Primary also known as Kamukuywa primary where he sat for his Certificate of Primary Education examination.
“My life in primary school was normal, just like any other child’s life, scandals here and there but I ensured I was always on the right,” Lusaka said.
Lusaka then joined St. Mary’s Kibabii High School for his ‘O’ levels and later Chesamisi High School then Friends School Kamusinga for his ‘A’ levels.
“After my ‘A’ levels in Kamusinga, I joined University of Nairobi for a degree course in Literature which I then dropped because it was very involving and I had no passion in teaching,” said the governor.
Lusaka then took up a course in Political Science and History which propelled him into active politics at the university.
“I wanted to vie for University students’ organization president in 1987 but I dropped my bid after all the contestants were involved in a scandal that led to their expulsion from the university,” Lusaka said.
Lusaka was also a very active actor and comedian while at the university. “If I had not joined politics I would have been a very serious actor and comedian,” Lusaka added.
Lusaka said he was blessed with a charisma in imitation whereby he only needs a few hours with you then he can enact exactly as you do.
He participated in a travelling Theatre where various literature set books featured as a form of supporting his life on campus. “I used to play various roles in different books both lead roles and minor ones too,” Lusaka added.
“I played as Wamala in The Burdens, Anthony in The Merchant of Venice and Mulili in Betrayal in the City,” Lusaka said.
According to Lusaka, he acted in both Swahili and English plays such as Betrayal in the City and Usaliti Mjini in order for him to improve his command of both the two languages.
“Art is critical in all spheres of life because it is the only way to handle reality and nature without realizing the harder and bitter side of it,” Lusaka added.
“I also suffered joblessness after university for several months before someone who was dear to me called me for an interview where out of over 100 people I was among the 10 who were successful and posted by the Public Service Commission,” Lusaka added.
He worked in Muhoroni as a District Officer before he was transferred to Homa Bay.
“I was then sent to the Netherlands for a master’s degree in Policy and Administration,” Lusaka narrated.
He served as a District Commissioner when he came back before becoming the first secretary of provincial administration in the Office of the President during Kibaki’s tenure in 2008.
The ex-Senate Speaker then served as a Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Livestock after the sacking of Patrick Khaemba.
In 2013, Lusaka vied for the Bungoma gubernatorial seat alongside the then Kanduyi MP Alfred Khang’ati, Maurice Makhanu, Jack Tumwa and Wabwoba Walinywa. Lusaka won the race and served as the first governor of Bungoma.
In 2017, Lusaka contested for the race once more but lost to Wycliffe Wangamati after which the Jubilee party fronted him for the senate speaker’s candidature.
Lusaka won the senate speaker position in the second round by garnering 42 votes against his competitor Farah Maalim who polled 25 votes.
“I can say that the Elgeyo Marakwet senator Onesmus Kipchumba Murkomen was the senator who was always on my neck but I like his credibility and that resilience in him,” Lusaka spoke of his tough moments as the senate speaker.
“Furthermore I can say that the people of Elgeyo Marakwet have a leader in that gentleman and I thank God that he is now one of our members in Kenya Kwanza,” Lusaka added.
In this year’s General Election, Lusaka ran for the Bungoma County gubernatorial race once more on a Ford-Kenya party ticket against Wangamati who beat him in 2017 on the same Ford Kenya party ticket.
Lusaka overturned tables on Wangamati in the race by garnering a total of 244, 298 votes against his competitor Wangamati of DAP-K party who bagged 137,378 votes.
“I thank my outgoing governor Wangamati for two things; one for conceding defeat and two for holding my seat safely for the last five years,” Lusaka said.
By Roseland Lumwamu