October 1, 2021


But there is nothing more unpredictable than a Kenyan election.

More by Barrack Ombogo

Kenya’s Presidential Candidates 2022 – Political Titans?

Kenya’s Presidential Candidates 2022 – Political Titans?

Barrak Ombogo takes a personal perspective on the candidates vying for Kenya’s presidency in 2022…

The political arithmetic now prevailing in Kenya is based on the forthcoming General Elections due on 9th August 2022, and the talk in the town is who will emerge the winner. Let us take the protagonists currently on the front line and what the people are saying about each of them.

Deputy President William Ruto

Dr. William Samoei Arap Ruto is the front runner using the banner of Deputy President and also the immediate Personal Assistant to the President. Arap Ruto started politics as the Youth for KANU 92 when he fought very hard for President Moi to be the president that year. Ruto and fellow youths succeeded in their mission. He was well rewarded and used some of his earnings to start the chicken business, currently yielding him Ksh1.5m a day, something that he is very proud of today.

In 1997, William Ruto won elections as a Member of Parliament for Nandi North and continued to improve on his business. In 2002 Ruto remained with KANU supporting Uhuru Kenyatta who was anointed by President Moi to take over his mantel. Uhuru was defeated by Mwai Kibaki. Ruto thereafter joined Raila Odinga to form Cord and they contested one of most fierce elections in Kenya’s history (2007/2008). Alleged widespread rigging marred those elections and when the powerful team of five, the Pentagon Group comprising of Raila Odinga, William Ruto, Charity Ngilu, Jospeh Nyagah and Naajib Balala refused to accept the results, the country fell into turmoil. Power was eventually shared in the ‘handshake’ of the day, Raila Odinga became Prime Minister, William Ruto became the Minister of Agriculture.

He went on to join Uhuru in 2013 General Elections. Once again, votes were questioned, Raila’s team went to court and won, in an unprecedented event in Kenya, Africa even.

William Ruto has no doubt written history several times in his career. Now, he has come up with new jargon, the so-called ‘Bottoms Up’ philosophy which many people do not understand, to go into it here would take too long. In a nutshell, his idea is to invest in Kenyans from the bottom – up. Whether that takes him sailing into the Presidential seat come 2022, is yet to be seen.

Musalia Mudavadi

Musalia Mudavadi is the cool-headed leader of Amani National Congress. The former Vice President contested for 2007 Presidential Election but lost to Mwai Kibaki. In 2013, he contested through Amani National Congress Party and lost. In 2017 he joined Raila for General Elections under NASA Banner but lost again, although the General Election was nullified for being not free and fair. This time around, Musalia Mudavadi is to go it alone although he has no numbers. Presumably, this will be a joyride.

Kalonzo Musyoka

Watermelon as he is fondly, perhaps cheekily known, contested as President in 2007 but failed miserably only to be appointed as Vice President, on sympathy, I presume again, from Mwai Kibaki. In 2013 he joined Raila in ODM as his running mate. They lost the elections and petitioned, unsuccessfully to the Supreme Court.

Kalonzo had sworn not to support Raila again, but he has no numbers and is only relying on votes of Ukambani where Muthama is sure to pour cold water in his campaign for the presidency.

Moses Wetangula

Weta, as he is known, has little to show apart from following the footpaths of Mudavadi and Kalonzo Musyoka. Wetangula has no charisma nor valour to fit into any presidential portfolio. He is just a political flower girl, in my very humble opinion.

Jimmy Wanjigi

The proud billionaire, Jimmy Wanjigi, is a household name as far as wealth is concerned but he is not known to be a crude politician. He wants to run under ODM banner but as far as I am concerned, although Jimmy has the clout of money he will struggle as a politician. This is a whole new kettle of fish. If you ask me, he is only campaigning for Raila Odinga. A red herring, if I may use the fish analogy once more.

Justine Muturi

The current speaker of the National Assembly is only interested in drawing votes off Raila Odinga. Although he had been elected as a Member of Parliament in the past, he has no value to become the President of the Republic of Kenya. Muturi was crowned as the spokesman for Mount Kenya Group even though he has no support in Mount Kenya.

Raila Odinga

Agwambo Wuod Nyar Alego Owad gi Akinyi as is accorded to him by his supporters, does not need introduction in the political arena. The son of Jaramogi Oginga Odinga became famous when he was arrested and detained without trial after the 1982 attempted coup by the Kenya Airforce Military wing. He was incarcerated for eight years.

Raila became one of the doyens of the multiparty democracy when he, together with the likes of Paul Muite, James Orengo, Martha Karua, Itobu Imanyara and Kirautu Murungi, started the call for removal of Chapter 2a in the old Constitution which gave way to the acceptance of more than one party, from 1990 to 1992.

Raila first contested in a Presidential Election in 1997 and failed. In 2002 Raila was famous for advocating for ‘Kibaki Tosha’. Although Kibaki had an accident before the presidential election, Raila went on with the campaign until NARC won the elections. Raila was appointed the Minister of Roads.

Agwambo was later to disagree with Kibaki on the Constitutional Amendment in 2005 which ended in the defeat of the document. Raila was consequently removed from the Cabinet. In 2007 he formed a strong team of Orange Democratic Movement which was the vehicle he used for the 2007 Elections, arguably Kenya’s most transformative elections.

With both sides of the divide standing their ground, to the detriment of many everyday Kenyans, the United Nations Security Council was forced to order a reconciliation.

Subsequent general elections in 2013 and 2017 resulted in similar events, as if Kenya were stuck in a time warp every five years.

In 2022, Raila wants to try his luck one last time. Word on the ground is that Raila stands a better chance of winning the General Elections because of his experience and diversity. Perhaps, at long last, his turn will come.

Based in order of merits, here is my prediction of the 2022 Presidential elections:

1. Raila Odinga 51%
2. William Ruto 40%
3. Musalia Mudavadi 5%
4. Kalonzo Musyoka 3%
5. Moses Wetangula 1%

But there is nothing more unpredictable than a Kenyan election. We all wait.


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