It has been said that it is virtually impossible to win a political campaign with no money despite having qualifications or better grasp of issues with better financed candidates winning more often than not.
However, one Senatorial candidate in Embu is out to challenge the narrative by running a successful campaign without billboards, banners or posters and giving his opponents a run for their money as the election D-day draws near.
Alexander Mundigi, a Democratic Party senatorial aspirant is perhaps the only candidate in the race with no financial muscle to run a well-oiled campaign has nonetheless been able to endear himself to the electorate across the county by availing himself in any public function he is aware of be it funerals, dowries, weddings, church fundraisers and public barazas.
Despite having a vehicle, many are the times that he hikes lifts or uses matatus to attend public events cum meet the people tour as he is not able to afford fuel needed to help him move around.
It is through his availability and sacrifice that his supporters coined the slogan “Kaba Mundigi Tuonaga” loosely translated “Better Mundigi We See Around” that has become his brand identity.
“This man can travel to the farthest corner of the county to contribute Sh. 500 at an event because he believes his presence is more important than sending his contributions through Mpesa and that is why people came up with the slogan,” said Stella Gichovi from Kega village in Runyenjes Sub-county.
Mundigi, 56, first tossed himself in politics in 2007 contesting for Mbeere South Parliamentary seat where he emerged second losing to Mutava Musyimi.
He then took a break and made a comeback in 2017 and ran for the Senatorial seat where again he emerged second losing marginally to the incumbent Njeru Ndwiga.
Unlike his opponents, Mundigi continued with the tradition of investing loyalty in public events and social gatherings to keep his supporters close to him and in the process established himself as a household name in Embu politics.
Mundigi is contesting alongside political heavyweights such as the incumbent Njeru Ndwiga, Governor Martin Wambora and his Deputy David Kariuki as well as former Youth PS Lillian Omollo Mbogo.
Unlike his opponents who have dotted every corner of the county with campaign posters and billboards, Mundigi has not been able to print campaign materials owing to his financial handicap.
He says he was coming to this year’s elections empty-handed after spending the little he makes from his contractual jobs on social events, but does not count it as a loss in his resolve to keep his Senatorial dream alive.
“My hope is in God to see me through the remaining period before the elections as I have run out of money when the campaigns are entering the home stretch,” the candidate avers.
Mundigi was born in Kithunthiri village in Mavuria Ward, Mbeere South Constituency where he schooled at Irabari Primary School and later Embu West Secondary School.
Upon completion of his studies in 1987, he joined KenGen where he worked in the department of works in Kiambere, Kaburu, Gitaru and Masinga dams within Mbeere South.
He later in 2004 transferred to Turkwel in West Pokot for one year and then moved to Sondu Miriu in Kisumu until late 2006 when he resigned to join politics.
After losing the area parliamentary seat in 2007, Mundigi went back to KenGen in Murang’a and six years later transferred to Tana Power station until 2016 when he once again resigned to try his hand in politics.
To improve his leadership skills, Mundigi undertook a theological degree course two years ago where he graduated early this year and believes it will help him offer the much needed servant and transformational leadership that was lacking in the county.
He says religion derives authority from divinity and its mission is thus holy and motivated to reform society.
Mundigi says if elected he will lobby for more funds to the devolved unit from the national government and also hold the county to account in utilization of public resources to end plunder that has derailed development in the area.
He is married to Muthoni Munyi, a primary school teacher in the area with whom he has five children, three girls and two boys.
His wife terms him a selfless man who can go to any length to assist someone in need and that is why he has become a darling of the public.
She says he sleeps very late most of the time attending to calls from people in need of his assistance or supporters welcoming him to their events while others encourage him to keep up with the good work.
“He has never given up and I believe his effort is going to pay off this time round,” Muthoni says.