Is George Wajackoyah the promised Mulembe Prince prophesied by Elijah Masinde?

Roots Party of Kenya leader George Wajackoyah speaks when he decried the forceful eviction of residents of  Deep Sea slums in Highridge, Nairobi on Wednesday, April 30, 2022. [Collins Kweyu, Standard]

Lawyer George Wajackoyah is hippy yet controversial, a perfect mix that has earned him a legion of followers.

But is he the promised prince prophesied by the iconic prophet, Elijah Masinde Wanameme of the Dini ya Musambwa, who will deliver Mulembe nation and reclaim the Nabongo crown?

In his true-to-the-roots manner of dressing, his Roots Party has equally excited those who believe in Masinde’s prophesy, that the Abaluhya would reclaim their Nabongo crown from the Luos.

Wanameme of Dini ya Musambwa is famed for the landmark prophecy whose debate re-emerged after Wajackoyah was given a nod by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to vie for the presidency.

The prediction that the Abaluhya would reclaim their Nabongo crown from the Luos is now informing political banter in Wajackoyah’s rural Indangalasi village, Koyonzo Ward in Matungu constituency.

The Wanga kingdom was presided over by Nabongo Mumia Shiundu in pre-colonial times and superintended its advanced form of government in politics, economy and military, stretching all the way from Naivasha to Uganda.

From the jobless to the educated, locals here believe Wajackoyah will “recapture the lost Nabongo crown to its throne of Matungu,” after IEBC cleared him to vie against Raila Odinga, William Ruto and lawyer David Mwaure for the presidency.

“When he was growing up, I knew he would be somebody and now he is just inches away from the presidency. See, the State has also assigned him guards at his village home round the clock, what other sign do you need to believe he is headed to stardom?” his uncle Boniface Gomba says.

“The closest we got as the Wanga from Matungu, where Mumias ruled the world (Wanga Kingdom) from, was having Rashid Echesa as a Cabinet Secretary.

“But with Wajackoyah, our pride as a Kingdom is ripe. If he fails to win the presidency, then he may as well take over from Raila who has a chance of winning as Wanameme’s prophecy foretold.”

But Wajackoyah is not flattered by this. In fact, he blames some of his relatives for his childhood misery which drove him to the streets and says were his father to rise from the dead, he would be very upset.

“Some of these people made me be a chokora (streetboy). They disinherited me, but success has many friends while failure is an orphan,” says Wajackoyah.

Gomba, 79, who is fond of calling his nephew “my simple and courageous son”, believes the dropping out from the presidential race of Luhya leaders Musalia Mudavadi and Moses Wetang’ula is an indicator that “fate is paving way for the return of Nabongo Kingdom sons to the throne.”

Wajackoyah says although he does not believe in prophesy and neither does Kenya, which is desperate to put food on the table and a vibrant economy, is confident that he is the missing piece of the puzzle, that will liberate his community and the whole country.

“Once I go to Western for my campaigns, DP William Ruto and Raila Odinga will get nothing. They have taken the community for a ride for long. It is time the eldest son, Muromo takes the rightful place and reclaims the crown of Nabongo,” he says.

The presidential candidate also talks of links between his people and Raila explaining that during his people’s migration in the Kavirondo Gulf, one of the brothers of the founder, Sakwa, settled in Bondo where the Odinga’s hail, while others went to Uyoma and another to Hamisi.

Along the way, the kingship slipped to Mumia who belonged to the youngest wife and by the time the colonialists came, they found Nabongo Mumia in charge and the other elder clans were relegated.

He is confident that the time has come for the Abamuromo - the clan that Wajackoyah comes from to lead.

Just like Gomba, Wajackoyah’s village mate Mustafa Namwalo says the elaborate and simple ways which the former spy who has “unfortunately not been in the village long enough” is using to explain his intention to run for high office, is what is earning him support by the day.

Namwalo adds, “Our problem is the ballooning national debt. Raila and Ruto are talking of giving us money which means more borrowing but he (Wajackoyah) wants us to sell marijuana and snakes so that we pay off our debts.”

“If you think critically over it, you realise it is a noble idea that will sort the major problem and put us on the development track,” he adds.

The headmaster of Indangalasia Secondary School, Wilfred Were, shares the sentiments of Namwalo, saying only a careless man can wish away Wajackoyah.

“He sits on the Board of Management of my school and has been giving key insights on how to run the school. I have not seen a presidential candidate with a clearer, pointed manifesto,” he says.

“He is also philanthropic as he is paying fees for some two or three students in the school. Don’t underrate him, he is in the footsteps of Nabongo,” he adds.

Wajackoyah, 62, who is also a law lecturer at the United States International University (USIU), will officially launch his manifesto on July 2, which among other things promises to legalise farming marijuana for export.

He will also champion snake farming for production of anti-venom. The snakes, according to the professor, will be exported to countries like China, where it is a delicacy.

Wajackoyah’s cousin Elphas Omoto, a teacher, however, has a bone to pick with Wajackoyah.

“He promised us books, lab equipment and a truck of cement to build classrooms and laboratories sometime back when he visited the students for a pep talk. I believe he is busy with the campaigns but will return to fulfill the pledge,” he says at the school which sits some 300 metres from Wajackoyah’s home.

At the home, Charles Luchiri, Wajackoyah’s step-brother says the Administration Police officers who are on guard round the clock are eager for his homecoming party, although he fears their family land may not be enough to hold the masses.

Meanwhile, Wajackoyah’s fans keep popping in just to find out whether “the Fifth” as they fondly refer to him, is home.

“I’ve been calling him every day to update him of the visits. I believe like me, he is also wondering where he will host the masses on his homecoming but I think Indangalasia Secondary School grounds will do,” he says as he supervises three men making final touches to Wajackoyah’s two-bedroomed house.

“He is a man of the people. Whenever he is around he slaughters goats for villagers as he himself eats traditional vegetables like dodo, sagaa and kunde,” Luchiri says.

Two police officers from nearby Omondi Market AP camp say they have never met the Roots Party leader whose home they have been guarding, but yearn to see him.

Conspicuously missing from the home is Wajackoyah’s immediate family members including his wife and children whom we learnt were away attending to family matters.

Melenia Jakoya, the mother of Wajackoyah we were told, could have received us but had also stepped out. And Wajackoyah is concerned about his mother’s security.

“Although I have been given adequate security and homes are guarded by police, my mother is exposed. I am appealing to the government to give her security. She is the only precious thing left for me. Mum needs security,” he said.

Notably, prior to his signature durag, ragged jeans and combat shirt style of dressing, Wajackoyah donned crisply tailored suits, silk ties and walked with a veneer of sophistication.

The professor enjoyed the confines of well-lit, leather seated and air-conditioned offices during his 25-year stint as a practising lawyer both in Kenya and the USA and is a founding partner of Luchiri & Co Advocates. At one point, he had to flee Kenya to escape persecution by authorities. His woes emanate from his role as an inspector in former President Moi’s intelligence unit, the special branch. Following the murder of Foreign Affairs minister Robert Ouko in February 1990, Wajackoyah was among those investigating the incident.

“When Ouko was murdered, there were a lot of contradictory stories. I was commissioned by Mr (James) Kanyotu, then director of intelligence, to find out from the system who might have been involved. We did what we did,” said Wajackoyah in a recent interview.

Things would however spiral out of control and he found himself with a bullseye on his back prompting him to flee for safety. He then enrolled to study Law at the University of Wolver Hampton in the United Kingdom where he graduated in 1996.

He graduated with a master of law in development from the University of Warwick in 1998 and a master of laws (US law) in 2006 from the University of Baltimore.

He has also taught law and economics, human rights, and comparative constitutional and international law at US, UK and Kenyan universities.

But before his involvement with government or law, it took the intervention of the late Joseph Kamotho for Wajackoyah to complete his A levels.

The professor fled their home in Matungu following his parents’ divorce in search of his mother but ended up a street urchin in Nairobi.

It took years but when the then Education Minister was informed of his predicament, he helped pay his school fees at St Peter’s Mumias Boys High School.

It remains to be seen whether his plan to curb corruption by hanging the corrupt will be implemented should he clinch the presidency. Justina Wambui is his running mate in the August 9 General Elections.