Kelly Marina is the latest entrant into Kajiado East parliamentary race on an Orange Democratic Movement party ticket against a growing number of candidates.
The Management University of Africa graduate is a former procurement officer at the Kajiado County Assembly, who played a major role in the interpreting and implementation of procurement policies under the new devolution.
Marina, who is striving to take over from the current MP Peris Tobiko, says leadership is a calling, and that she took the decision to run for the elective seat after she was approached by various groups, among them teachers and the business community.
“Turning down that request from my people is disrespect. So I have decided to join the race so I can continue from where the current MP reached,” said Marina.
Marina said there are many bright children from poor backgrounds in the constituency who have failed to move on to secondary schools because their parents cannot afford to pay their academic fees.
“I have a big plan for them once elected as MP. I will use my National-CDF office to assist them to get bursaries and sponsorships. We cannot sit back as leaders and see brains out there go to waste,” said Marina.
She said that once elected as the next Kajiado MP, she will also use her office to fund all the polytechnics in the constituency to be able to produce well-trained youth in various fields.
“The biggest problem facing the youth is employment, and if as elected leaders can support their training in all levels, we will have empowered them so they can employ themselves,” said Marina.
The MP, who has already met with sand harvesters in the constituency, says it is important that those in the business can register their groups and form societies which she can easily help to acquire loans from the local banks.
“There is good money in sand harvesting and as their elected MP, I will strive to work closely with those groups in a bid to empower them. They need to understand the saving culture,” she said.
She said that as an elected leader, her duty will be to listen to the electorate. Their needs, she said, are paramount.
The status of our roads, the MP aspirant said, is calling for the quick action and fixing, adding that once elected she will work closely with the national government in implementing her dream to improve the roads.
“We need all-weather roads in the ward roads in Kajiado East and these are some of the things I will tackle first as soon as I am elected. Farmers must take their produce to markets in good time, and therefore require good roads,” the MP aspirant said.
Marina said once elected, she will work closely with farmers in the constituency to ensure that adequate boreholes are sunk to provide water for irrigation and domestic use.
“We have good soil in most parts of the constituency and our farmers are not demanding too much but enough water for their crops and livestock. We want them (farmers) to be financially liquid all the time so that they can take their children to school,” said Marina.
Marina said this is approached in two folds;
a) Through an initiative where groups are assisted to register and trained to do business and uplift their lives through the Jiajiri initiative.
b) The other is through creating an enabling environment for the business community to trade and create forums for engagements.
She says drives to cover medical bills for individuals when they become sick are unacceptably inconvenient through cost-sharing.
“What I will do is to agitate for enrollment of our people to the National Hospital Insurance Fund platform and reduce the agony caused by medical bills and deaths occasioned by lack of funds to cater for medication”, she said.
The MP aspirant said it is hard to achieve development without meaningful stakeholders engagement.
“Through such sponsorship for bright kids who cannot all be covered by CDF, education infrastructure enhancement is very important,” she said.
Environmental matters, Marina said, remain her concern, adding that the same can be improved in the constituency through the involvement of other relevant partners.
She said water continues to be a scarce commodity, and its availability can drive economic activities in the villages and every home.
Armed with a Bachelor of Management and Leadership (Procurement and Supplies Option) degree, Marina says every development coin from the national government will be accounted to the last cent.
“Kajiado East is now fully cosmopolitan, and once elected as the next MP all the voters will look upon me to lead them. Bursary funds should be open to every member of the constituency regardless of their backgrounds,” she said.
Marina is a member of the chartered institute of logistics and transport (CILT) and has an international advanced diploma in logistics and transport.
The politician also acquired a diploma in business management from the University of Nairobi (2004-2005), which she attained later after acquiring a certificate in purchasing and supplies from the same college in 2004.
After her primary education at Arroi primary school in 1999, Marina went to Limuru Girls High School for her “O” levels.
She is married with children and she is a member of several professional bodies such as CILT, CIPS, and KISM.
She has attended budget process and program-based courses locally and abroad in Arusha at the Eastern and Southern African Management Institute.
She has also taken courses in leadership training programs (Capacity Enhancement Consultants), Competency Development and Change Management (Global Centre for Capacity Development), and Senior Management Enhancement (Africa Corporate Governance Advisory Services Ltd).
Marina served at the Kajiado county assembly as a procurement officer from July 2014 to March 2017.
At the assembly, she coordinated procurement activities and implementation of procurement manuals as well as continuous upgrade of the manual in line with the government-set regulations.
She also participated in market surveys and research to enhance the competitive and prudent purchase of goods and services among other duties.
Before joining the county assembly, Marina served at Nol-Turesh pipeline bulk water supply company as its procurement officer.