- The August 9, General Elections saw various political bigwigs throw their hats in the ring in pursuit of power.
- But even as those who qualified had a right to campaign and hunt for votes, only a few made it to elective positions.
The year 2022 massively defined political careers of the country's influential politicians—handing lifelines to others and jolting some.
While it change fortunes for some political bigwigs, it also dashed hopes for some of them who were confined into oblivion.
The August 9, General Elections saw various political bigwigs throw their hats in the ring for one of the country's most competitive polls.
It was the first time that a sitting president was backing an opposition leader, Raila Odinga, while his deputy William Ruto was seeking to make history by succeeding him.
But even as those who qualified had a right to campaign and hunt for votes, only a few made it to elective positions.
Here is a list of individuals who won big in the concluded election;
Ruto and Gachagua
With all odds seemingly against them, President Ruto and his deputy Rigathi Gachagua managed to clinch the presidency.
Ruto was at the time a deputy president who had fallen out with his boss, President Uhuru Kenyatta, while Gachagua was a first-time MP battling graft cases.
Despite Gachagua being former President Uhuru's personal assistant, the two could not see eye to eye ahead of the August 9, polls.
Ruto and Gachagua had garnered 7,176,141 votes, equivalent to 50.59 per cent of valid votes cast, beating Azimio’s Raila Odinga who had 6,942,930 votes representing 48.85 per cent.
Musalia Mudavadi, Moses Wetangula and Amason Kingi
After having backed Raila Odinga’s three presidential bids unsuccessfully, these three leaders opted to support Ruto in the August 9 polls.
Mudavadi and his Amani National Congress party backed Ruto’s presidency earning him votes from parts of the Western Kenya region where he hails from. His reward following Ruto’s victory was the position of Prime Cabinet Secretary.
Wetangula and his Ford Kenya party also had their gamble pay off as he landed a National Assembly Speaker job after backing Ruto’s candidature for the country’s top job. In the line of seniority, he ranks third, after the President and his deputy.
Amason Kingi who had served two terms as a governor elected on the ODM ticket opted to form his own party in the run-up to the August 9 polls and despite wanting to work with Azimio la Umoja, he felt left out and joined the Kenya Kwanza Alliance.
After Ruto’s victory, he was awarded the position of Senate Speaker.
Governor Abdi Ibrahim Hassan (Guyo)
Isiolo Governor Abdi Ibrahim Hassan popularly known as Guyo arguably took the biggest gamble of all elected leaders in Kenya, making him the first-ever MCA to be elected Governor.
From serving as a Member of the County Assembly for Matopeni Ward in Nairobi for three terms, he entered the Isiolo gubernatorial race. Despite facing competition from well-known opponents including the first governor of the county, Guyo still emerged as the winner.
He was elected on a Jubilee ticket alongside other top county leaders.
Guyo had served as the minority leader under the first Nairobi County Assembly and the Majority leader under the second assembly.
After serving as Machakos Governor for two terms, Alfred Mutua was hunting for a place in the next government. He started by joining Azimio but when he felt unwanted in the Raila Odinga-led team, he team up with Ruto. His move paid off and he is currently the Foreign Affairs Cabinet secretary in Ruto’s Government.
Justin Muturi served as the National Assembly Speaker under retired President Uhuru Kenyatta’s tenure. With his exit from the political scene, Muturi tried to position himself as the next Mt Kenya kingpin, but his move did not work out.
He took over the Democratic Party which he initially wanted to use as a vehicle to the presidency but opted to back Ruto’s candidature. The move paid off. He is now the Attorney General of Kenya.
Despite having lost the gubernatorial race in Kilifi to ODM’s Gideon Mung’aro, what was seen as Aisha Jumwa’s end was not to be. She got a lifeline after President William Ruto picked her for the position of Cabinet Secretary for Public Service, Gender and Affirmative action.
This was a reward for marketing the president’s United Democratic Alliance party at the Coast.
Kanini Kega, Winnie Odinga and Hassan Omar
These three are all East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) nominees.
Despite losing the Mombasa gubernatorial race and Kieni parliamentary seat, Hassan Omar and Kanini Kega still made their way into EALA. It initially looked like an uphill task for Kega but his mobilization skills and relationship with other legislators handed him a lifeline.
For Winnie Odinga, the daughter of former Prime Minister Raila Odinga, her candidature for EALA caused a storm in the political spheres with many Kenya Kwanza allied MPs claiming that the seat was not a preserve of children of some well-known individuals. Nevertheless, Winnie Odinga still managed to win despite all the noise.
Edited by Bosco Marita