Inside Politics

Politicians whose sacrifices in 2022 backfired

Saturday, December 10th, 2022 06:00 | By
A graphical representation of politicians whose sacrifices in 2022 backfired.
A graphical representation of politicians whose sacrifices in 2022 backfired.

The year 2022 was quite a defining moment in Kenyan politics. The grueling campaign period saw some turn around their political fortunes while some, despite putting in a lot of work and sacrifices, were sent to political oblivion.

But as they say, in any contest where there's only one winner, the contrasting feelings of jubilation and disappointment are no surprise.

We look at political giants whose sacrifices bore no fruits:

Charity Ngilu

Former Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu is one of the few politicians who has survived the changing tides of Kenyan politics since 1992 when she was first elected Member of Parliament for Kitui Central constituency.

In the run-up to the August presidential election, she declared her support for Azimio la Umoja - One Kenya coalition leader Raila Odinga, who was touted as the man to beat in the poll.

Though she had been cleared to defend her seat by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), the first-time governor bowed out of the race in favour of her opponent Julius Malombe in mid-June, two months before the August 9 general election.

Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu. PHOTO/Courtesy.
Former Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu. PHOTO/Courtesy

The Narc Party leader is said to have been angling for a position in Raila's government.

"You will decide between former governor Julius Malombe and former senator David Musila who will be your governor. I want to take mama to Nairobi," Raila said at a campaign rally in Kitui county on June 15.

Ngilu was, however, dealt a blow after the Azimio boss lost the contest to his main challenger William Ruto of the Kenya Kwanza Alliance, bringing to a sudden end the aspirations of the Alliance Girls alumna of holding a key role in Raila's administration.

The 70-year-old has kept a low profile after the loss even as Raila insists that his victory was stolen.

John Mbadi

Nominated MP John Mbadi is one of the key allies of Raila, whose ambitions were cut short in the run-up to the August general election. The national chairman of the ODM party was prevailed upon by the party's top brass to withdraw his candidature in the Homa Bay gubernatorial contest in favour of Gladys Wanga, who later won the seat.

ODM party leader Raila Odinga (center), party Chairman John Mbadi (left) and Secretary General Edwin Sifuna (right).

In return, the then Suba South MP was promised a plum job in Raila's government. There were speculations that the lawmaker had been earmarked for a Cabinet position in one of the powerful ministries.

But as fate would have it, Raila didn't make it and Mbadi was rewarded with a nomination slot to parliament for his sacrifices.

However, it recently emerged that the MP wanted more after he was left out of the House leadership.

Mbadi, who served as ODM Minority Leader in the 12th parliament, claimed he was shortchanged after the party picked Ugunja MP Opiyo Wandayi to lead the minority troops in the House.

In media interviews, Mbadi lamented that the decision to pick Wandayi for the job signified that he had failed in his leadership in the party and in his tenure as minority leader.

“Sometimes certain decision are made against certain people and we keep quiet and people start imagining that we are comfortable,” he said saying the party should have allowed members to vote for the nominees.

“I am not comfortable with this decision, the stature of the ODM chairman position must be respected. I can’t do the position of ODM chairman injustice by accepting that decision. If am the chairman in ODM and I lead the party outside then I don't understand why when I come to the house, I am being led by someone who is my junior in the party. No democracy has such an arrangement."

Kalonzo Musyoka sacrifices

Wiper party leader Kalonzo Musyoka sacrificed his own presidential ambitions to support Raila's candidature in the August polls. In the process, the former Vice President got another five years in the cold after Azimio failed to clinch the presidency.

'We won elections hands down. Facts will come out when history is written ' - Raila
Azimio la Umoja - One Kenya Coalition party leaders Raila Odinga, Martha Karua and Kalonzo Musyoka. PHOTO/Courtesy.

Kalonzo had been promised the powerful Prime Cabinet Secretary docket in Raila's proposed government.

Following Azimio's loss, the coalition fronted Kalonzo for the National Assembly Speaker position. He dropped out of the race to join the Senate Speaker contest, before he again made a u-turn and withdrew from the poll at the last minute.

Kalonzo's decision is said to have been informed by the fact that the Kenya Kwanza Alliance commanded the majority in both Houses, denying Azimio a chance to elect a Speaker from their camp.

The National Assembly Speaker post went to Ford Kenya leader Moses Wetang'ula and the Senate Seat to former Kilifi Governor Amason Kingi, who were rewarded for their contribution to Kenya Kwanza's poll victory.

Wetang'ula, unlike Kalonzo, had defied overtures by former President Uhuru Kenyatta, to support Raila's main challenger, Ruto, securing himself a spot at the high table.

Jubilee leaders from Mt Kenya

A dozen of Jubilee MPs from the vote-rich Mt Kenya region risked their seats by going against the grain in the 2022 elections and the results were disastrous.

The MPs were among the few leaders from the region who remained loyal to then-President Uhuru Kenyatta following his failed political marriage with his then-deputy, Ruto.

Uhuru managed to convince them to back Raila's candidature, despite the strong wave of Ruto's United Democratic Alliance (UDA) party in the region.

Nearly all the leaders lost their seats to their rivals from the UDA party, including political newbies.

Jubilee party secretary-general Jeremiah Kioni
Jubilee party Secretary-General Jeremiah Kioni PHOTO/Courtesy

Some of the leaders are Jubilee Secretary General and former Ndaragua MP Jeremiah Kioni, Kimani Ngunjiri (Nyeri Town), Kanini Kega (Kieni) and former Kiambu Governor James Nyoro among others.

Others like former Agriculture CS Peter Munya, who was prevailed upon not to contest for any seat on a promise that he would be accommodated in Raila's government, are also licking their wounds after the shocking outcome of the election.

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