BY LINET MINAYO – SENIOR POLITICAL REPORTER
Francis Meja is expected to officially announce his 2022 governor bid from his rural home in Kimuka in April, after which campaigns will start in earnest.
Meja, whose star is fast rising among his fans and those yearning for change in the way the county is currently being governed, has endeared himself to many.
In a recent popularity-poll ran on social media in Kajiado, Meja surprised many after he thrashed many other candidates including Governor Joseph ole Lenku.
The soft-spoken technocrat is expected to host thousands of Kajiado residents drawn from all the five sub-counties in the region at his Kimuka rural home on April 30.
When he finally does it, Meja will, therefore, be writing history.
Firstly, he will be the first person from the Ilkishuru age group (an age-set containing Ilkipali and Ilmancheshi) to contest for that high position.
Some may argue the last group is insignificant in today’s politics, but political pundits will tell you that Maa politics is hugely shaped by these groupings.
Meja was thrust into the public limelight by the late Prof. George Saitoti, whom he helped to secure a government job at the Housing Finance Corporation of Kenya.
For many years, Meja quietly and loyally confided with the late Saitoti where he earned his trust and confidence.
At the time, he became a good student of the late professor’s school of politics.
Meja holds of master’s degree in Business Administration (strategic management option) from the University of Nairobi and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and Public Administration from O.U Marathwada, India.
He was the immediate first Director-General of the National Transport and Safety Authority, a parastatal carved out of the Kenya Revenue Authority.
During his tenure at NTSA, Meja provided the institution with strategic leadership that helped it receive accolades locally and internationally.
As a senior public figure in government, Meja was not involved in any financial scandal but instead helped the government raise more taxes in his department.
Pet Project at NTSA
One of his pet projects at the institution is the consolidation of all NTSA services in one online platform – the Transport Information Management System.
Meja fronted transformative leadership that saw virtually all services migrated from manual system to digital process thus greatly improving on services delivery in addition to significantly sealing revenue loopholes and fighting corruption.
This is what this county is lacking, according to one, Peter Mwaniki, who is a teacher from Kajiado North Sub-county.
Mwaniki said Meja fits that position he is seeking because he is a well-travelled leader who listens to advice, and also seek comment from the public on issues that concerns his people.
“Governors are public servants elected to serve the people and not to dictate to the subjects what he wants. Kajiado started going down as soon as we received a change of guard in the last general election,” he claims.
The high school teacher said Meja represents an astute leader, who cares about the revival of the county’s economy.
“Look at what is happening now in this county. Everything has been run down. The county government is not standing with taxpayers and farmers. The governor is on the road going nowhere every other day with fuel-guzzling vehicles as county workers go without salaries,” said Mwaniki.
Meja is also proud to have used his position and the wide networks he has created over the years to lobby for job opportunities for many young people both in the private and public sector.
It is this impressive track record that Meja is hoping to bank on as he prepares to launch his gubernatorial campaign at his home this fall.
Preparations for the big day is in top gear, according to his handlers.
Several bulls and hundreds of goats and sheep have already been identified for slaughter and invitations have already been sent out. The event is also available on all social media platforms.
The media has also been invited to cover the event.