Gavana Wa Baiskeli: Why I Campaign Using A Bicycle

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Solomon Kiptarbei Maritim is a man known to many of the Uasin Gishu locals as ‘Gavana wa Baiskeli’.

This is because he uses a bicycle to campaign for his gubernatorial bid.

He first rose to the limelight when he traversed the whole of Uasin Gishu looking for the gubernatorial votes as an independent candidate – of cos using a bicycle.

After the poll, Solomon Kiptarbei Maritim was placed at number three, behind winner Governor Jackson Mandago and billionaire businessman Zedekiah Kiprop Bundotich alias Buzeki.

Solomon Kiptarbei Maritim during the 2017 campaigns

Ahead of the August 2022 poll, he is again in the race to succeed Governor Mandago, but this time around seeking to fly the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) ticket.

Uasin Gishu News caught up with him on his campaign trail in Eldoret town and sought to know why he chose a bicycle as a mode of the campaign when his competitors are investing in state-of-the-art vehicles and modern Public Address Systems.

Mimi kusema kweli nikianza siasa sikua na gari nilikua na baiskeli. Na hii baiskeli ilinisaidia. Nilienda nayo shule Wareng High School for four years na sababu nilikua na nia ya kuwania ugavana Uasin Gishu na sia chochote, nikasema lazima nitumie baiskeli yangu,” Solomon Kiptarbei Maritim said.

This loosely translates to “honestly when I started politics I did not have a car and this bicycle helped me a great deal. I used it to go to Wareng School for four years and because I had an urge to vie for the Uasin Gishu gubernatorial seat and I had nothing, I said I must use my bicycle to the campaign.”

Solomon Kiptarbei interacting with locals in Eldoret on March 11, 2022.

Fortunes have turned since then for the ‘Gavana wa Baiskeli’ but says his decision to stick with a bicycle to campaign does not in any way seek sympathy votes.

Mimi sitafuti sympathy votes, naomba kura kwa unyenyekevu,” he tells Uasin Gishu News.

Solomon Kiptarbei Maritim hails from Kapchumba in Kiplombe ward, Turbo Sub County. He went to Tuiyobei Primary School before joining Wareng High School and later Moi University where he graduated with a Bachelors in Business Management (Accounting option).

Despite being a degree holder, the 35-year-old Uasin Gishu gubernatorial aspirant says, just like hundreds of other graduates in the country, he has never been employed.

As he seeks to be the second governor of Uasin Gishu, Kiptarbei says he will be a leader that is easily accessible and available to serve the people.

Among his agendas is ensuring every household is enlisted to the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF), improving the Agriculture sector by financially supporting the Cooperatives Movement.

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