Inside Politics

Politicians whose sacrifices paid off in 2022

Monday, December 12th, 2022 18:00 | By
A graphical representation of politicians whose sacrifices paid off in 2022.
A graphical representation of politicians whose sacrifices paid off in 2022.

Loyalty is arguably the best currency of the political marketplace, and dozens of politicians who invested in this virtue continue to reap big after the 'surprising' victory of the Kenya Kwanza Alliance in the August 9 general election.

Kenya Kwanza Alliance leader William Ruto, who pulled a surprise victory in the presidential elections, had in months leading up to the polls positioned himself as an underdog as political heavyweights threw their weight behind the candidature of Azimio la Umoja - One Kenya coalition leader Raila Odinga, rendering the then-Deputy President a lone ranger.

Some of the politicians were even accused of committing 'political suicide' after going against the grain to join forces with the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) party leader, whose outfit mainly comprised the victims of the ugly political divorce between Ruto and his then-boss, President Uhuru Kenyatta.

We highlight some of the political sacrifices that paid off:

Musalia Mudavadi & Moses Wetang'ula

Former Amani National Congress (ANC) party leader Musalia Mudavadi teamed up with Ruto in January, just seven months before the August 9 polls.

Together with Ford Kenya leader Moses Wetang'ula, the trio founded the Kenya Kwanza Alliance that later inked deals with several other smaller parties to rival Raila and Uhuru's Azimio giant, comprising more than 20 parties from across the country.

From left: Kenya Kwanza leaders Musalia Mudavadi, William Ruto and Moses Wetang'ula at a past rally in Kitale. DPPS

In joining forces with Ruto, Mudavadi and Wetang'ula defied overtures by Uhuru, who had met the leaders severally at State House to try and sign them up to the Azimio coalition.

The duo, who had earlier declared intentions to vie for the presidency, withdrew from the contest and signed a pre-election agreement that would see Ruto appoint Mudavadi Prime Cabinet Secretary and rally his troops to elect Wetang'ula the National Assembly Speaker.

The leaders would later mount campaigns in various parts of the country, especially in their western backyard, where they managed to deny Raila a substantial number of votes in the area previously regarded as his stronghold.

True to his word, Ruto ensured Mudavadi and Wetang'ula got their share of the bargain after the Kenya Kwanza victory in August.

Alfred Mutua's sacrifices

Former Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua pulled out of the Azimio coalition in a huff three months before the August 9 elections citing political conmanship on the part of the Azimio top brass.

The 52-year-old had also announced plans to vie for the country's top seat before silently withdrawing from the race to support Raila and later Ruto.

While announcing his defection to Kenya Kwanza and his endorsement for Ruto in May, Mutua claimed that his Maendeleo Chap Chap (MCC) party had been sidelined by leading partners in Azimio.

Alfred Mutua claims recent polls sponsored by Azimio
Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua and William Ruto during the launch of the alliance's manifesto at Kasarani on June 30, 2022. PHOTO/Alfred Mutua(@DrAlfredMutua)/Twitter

He pledged to popularise Ruto's bid in the Ukambani region with a promise that he would be appointed to a senior role in government if Kenya Kwanza clinched the presidency.

Upon his ascendancy to power, President Ruto appointed the former government spokesperson as his Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary.

Kipchumba Murkomen

Former Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen was among MPs who were stripped of their plum House leadership positions in 2020 over their association with President Ruto.

The outspoken former legislator was bundled out of the office of the Majority Leader in May 2020 for what the Jubilee party termed as being disloyal to Uhuru. He was replaced by former West Pokot Senator Samuel Poghisio.

Despite the dramatic ouster, Murkomen remained loyal to Ruto even as the purge extended to the National Assembly.

After the President assumed office in September, he appointed Murkomen to the powerful docket of Cabinet Secretary for Roads, Transport & Public Works.

Moses Kuria

Former Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria was also one of the casualties of the cracks in the ruling Jubilee party that saw Ruto sidelined from Uhuru's Jubilee government.

He was axed from the Transport committee in the Jubilee purge against perceived rebels of Uhuru in the National Assembly in June 2020.

In July 2021, he unveiled Chama Cha Kazi (CCK) party which later signed a pact with Ruto's UDA party in the run up to the August elections.

Kuria, alongside other Kenya Kwanza leaders, traversed the Mt Kenya region to popularise Ruto's candidature.

At the same time, he contested for the Kiambu governor's seat on the CCK ticket but lost to UDA's Kimani Wamatangi.

But upon his rise to power, Ruto picked Kuria from the cold and appointed him Cabinet Secretary for Trade, Investment and Industry.

Susan Kihika & Irungu Kang'ata

Former Senators Susan Kihika (Nakuru) and Irungu Kang'ata (Murang'a) have also reaped big from their association with Ruto.

Despite losing their positions in the Senate leadership in May 2020 and February 2021 respectively, the duo went on to win governor seats in their respective counties after being rewarded with direct UDA tickets for their loyalty to the party leader.

Notably, Kang'ata, who had been picked by Jubilee to replace Kihika after she was stripped of the Majority Whip role in May 2020, fell out with Uhuru after claiming that the UDA wave was strong in the expansive Mt Kenya region and that it would be politically suicidal to defy the masses.

Kang'ata was de-whipped from his position after writing a letter to Uhuru claiming that no one from the President's Mt Kenya backyard was interested in the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI).

Kang'ata and Kihika braved an onslaught from rival camps to cement their relationship with Ruto, who later endorsed their bids for county jobs.

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