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Prof George Wajackoyah: From street boy to presidential candidate

Roots Party presidential candidate George Wajackoyah. [Edward Kiplimo, Standard]

Professor George Wajackoyah first became an internet sensation in February this year when he officially announced his presidential bid and outlined his pledges ahead of the August presidential elections. 

The lawyer pledged to create eight prime minister positions in his government, personally serve as the Immigration minister, suspend the constitution for six months, introduce a four-day work week - Monday through Thursday, legalise bhang and sell it to clear Kenya's loans.

Early life

The 61-year-old professor was born in Matungu in the western part of Kenya. Unfortunately, his parents divorced and abandoned him at the age of three.

Frustrated and in a quest to find his mother, Wajackoyah set out to Busia, with an aim of travelling to Uganda, where he heard she had moved.

But as fate would have it, they would not reunite. He met many challenges along the way. However, he also met strangers who were willing to give him a helping hand.

"A Somali man in a truck brought me to Nairobi with an intention of taking me to be a herdsboy somewhere in Mandera. Unfortunately, on his way to buy a packet of milk in a shop along Jogoo road, he was run over by a vehicle," the professor told KTN News in a previous interview. 

With nowhere to go, Wajackoyah spent years on the streets of Nairobi, roaming around with other boys who were also homeless before a well-wisher rescued him.

He was lucky and not so long after, the late JJ Kamotho, the Education Cabinet Minister at the time, was informed of his plight and helped pay for his school fees at St Peter's Mumias Boys High School for his A-levels.

"I did my Form 5 and 6 but did not get enough grades to go to the University," he says.

Career

After Wajackoyah completed his studies, Kamotho reached out and convinced him to enrol in the police service where he worked for more than nine years.

During his time at the force, he suspects he stepped on toes when investigating the death of the late Foreign Affairs Minister, Robert Ouko.

Being a spy, he says people thought he run away with a sensitive dossier on Ouko's case murder.

Wajackoyah was arrested, beaten and detained before he was rescued and taken into exile in the United Kingdom (UK). He, however, failed to disclose much on the matter that was in court.

In the UK, he spent time studying. He would dig graves and pay for his fees.

He later moved to the US where he taught Law and Economics, Human Rights, Comparative Constitutional and International law.

Wajackoyah holds an LLB (Hons) from the University of Wolverhampton (UK), CCL/LLM, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, LLM University of Warwick (UK), LLM University of Baltimore, and an Advanced Diploma in French from the University of Burundi.

Presidential candidate

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission cleared Prof Wajackoyah to run for the presidency on a Roots Party ticket in the August 9 General Election.

He says it is time to decriminalise marijuana, practice snake farming and embrace modern agricultural technologies to offset Kenya’s debt which currently skids at Sh8.4 trillion.

Sharing his economic vision for the country during an interview on JKL, Wajackoyah said his administration would offer the country a strong balance sheet through earnings from the export of marijuana by capitalising on the industry's lofty market valuations, and revenue from the rapidly growing anti-venom market.

“One sack of marijuana, and, I'm not talking of these sacks that you see people carrying – there are sacks scientifically made for marijuana, goes for $3.2 million. If you grow 1,000 acres of land and harvest 1,000 bags, then definitely…,” said Wajackoyah.

To bridge the deficit further, he added that he will introduce snake farming so as to extract venom for medicinal purposes and promote agribusiness.

“A lot of people are bitten by snakes in this country and have to wait for antidotes from abroad through pharmaceutical corporations. We have too many snakes in this country. We’ll extract poison for the manufacture of anti-venom and give the rest of the snake products for consumption to offset the debt,” said Wajackoyah.