By Chuna Buya Chuna, Former Member of Parliament (M.P) for Burji, Ethiopia
The Burji community in Ethiopia and Kenya have strived to build a robust economy over the years.
The Burji in Kenya has taken strides in Economic progress, but the same progress was not reflected in the Political gains nationally.
Political progress without corresponding economic muscle or vice versa won’t give the desired results.
In 2020, I visited Moyale, intending to strengthen Burji unity. I met with elders, community leaders, and intellectuals during the visit.
My meetings had four key agendas:
- Burji unity
- Building a resilient and robust economy.
- Advancing education, and
- Creating a cordial and cohesive relationship with neighbouring communities.
In one of the meetings, mzee Mohammed Boko informed me that we have been successful at county-level politics and have secured a deputy Governor slot. He also mentioned that we participate in ward-level politics for the position of MCA.
The Mzee confirmed that we have not been lucky at National level politics since the days of the Late Hon. Elisha Godana served as Marsabit South’s MP in the first Parliament between 1963 and 1967 and Marsabit North between 1974 and 1979.
The late Godana also served as the Assistant Minister for Information and Broadcasting in former President Daniel Moi’s cabinet.
The meeting concluded with a big question about what we can do to get back into the national political space.
In the same year, I met with Hajj Adama Chebe and discussed the abovementioned four agendas. Haji promised me that he would do everything possible to make the four agendas a reality.
True to his promise, Burji businesspeople, professionals, and elders joined hands in the just concluded 2022 elections to make our representation in National politics a reality.
For that, I want to say a big thank you.
The political gains are despite the unpredictable nature of politics in Africa, the Burji of Kenya have defied all odds to excel.
They have done this by forming a political alliance in some instances but were primarily buoyed by their extraordinary mindset of winners, which is used to conquer the volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous swift world.
Today, the Burji in Kenya has two elected Members of County Assembly (MCA’s). Hon Jack Elisha Godana for Marsabit Central Ward and Hon. Siba Ayala for Heilu Manyatta ward. In addition, they expect one nominated MCA once the county government starts operating.
The community also has a Deputy Governor. Hon. Solomon Gubo Riwe is the Deputy Governor for the County Government of Marsabit.
And the most significant victory is the election of Hon. Mohammed Said Chute as senator for Marsabit County. Hon. Mohammed will be representing Marsabit County in the National Assembly-Senate.
A big congratulation to all of them!
My clarion call to all is that this is a golden opportunity. It’s up to us to use this occasion to change our community.
Therefore, all Burjis in Ethiopia and Kenya, let us stand together, let us tie up, and go ahead to shine in eastern Africa. It’s time to shine. It’s a moment of change!
#Wonto ninta biya ebiso!
#May God bless our country
#Mungu abariki nchi yetu
Wow, its great! Thank you so much!
Well done Hon. Chuna,
It wasn’t a walk in the park and the win was a well crafted idea by the whole community especially in Marsabit.
We call upon all the political leaders to use this moment and strive to change a thing or two before the 5 year lapses.This is an opportune moment to address key challenges affecting our people and should not be wasted chasing wind!
We thank God for all this far, congrats our heroes
Alhamdulillahi, foward ever backward never biithinillah.