Political dynasties: Family members jostle for elective seats
By Kevin Ogutu and Paul Thoronjo
| June 2nd 2017
The just concluded party primaries brought to the fore familiar relatives who will be battling for various political seats in the August 8 polls.
Kenya’s political dynasties – families where several members are involved in politics, particularly electoral politics – are at it again in this year’s elections.
And there are interesting cases of the dynasty gone awry.
In Bomet, Kipngetich Kalya is battling it out for the Bomet East parliamentary seat on a Chama Cha Mashinani ticket against his mother Beatrice Kones of Jubilee.
In Machakos, Senator Johnston Muthama’s ex-wife Agnes Kavindu is running for senatorial seat on a Jubilee ticket.
Back to clean dynasty, the entry of former Ombudsman Otiende Amolo into elective politics means he could sit with his elder sister – nominated Senator Elizabeth Ongoro – in the 12th Parliament.
Amolo clinched the ODM party ticket for Rarieda constituency. While he could have the benefit of the immense popularity the ODM party enjoys in Siaya, it is not going to be a particularly rosy affair for his sister who will be facing the sitting Ruaraka MP T J Kajwang who has the ODM ticket.
Senator Ongoro put a spirited effort to snatch the ODM party ticket from the incumbent TJ Kajwang, and when she was barred from participating in the nominations following chaotic political rallies where her supporters and those of her opponent clashed, she jumped ship to ANC party.
As TJ Kajwang will be battling Ongoro in Nairobi, his younger brother Moses Kajwang, who is the Homa Bay Senator, will also be defending his seat on ODM party ticket.
Moses took over after the death of their elder brother Gerald Otieno Kajwang who passed on in November 2014.
And while Bungoma Senator Moses Wetang’ula will be defending his seat, his younger brother Timothy Wanyonyi will also be defending his Westlands parliamentary seat in Nairobi.
In Rift Valley, the family of Kenya’s second President Daniel Moi is just not about to let the political flame in the family die. Baringo Senator Gideon Moi, who is also the national chairman of Kanu, will be defending his seat as his brother Raymond Kipruto Moi will be defending his Rongai parliamentaryseat. Gideon has hinted at eyeing the Presidency in future.
The presidency in the August 8 polls, like it was in 2013, has been narrowed down to two dynasties namely President Uhuru Kenyatta and Opposition Chief Raila Odinga who are the sons of Kenya’s first President and vice-president respectively.
But unlike in 2013, the recent primaries rubbed the Kenyatta and Odinga dynasties the wrong way. The ODM ones saw Raila Odinga’s elder brother Oburu Oginga floored in his quest to recapture Bondo parliamentary seat from the incumbent Gideon Ochanda.
In Gem, the sitting MP Jakoyo Midiwo, who is a cousin to the Odingas was also shown the red card by the electorate during the party primaries as Raila’s sister Ruth Odinga failed to get to be Senator Anyang Nyongo’s running mate in Kisumu governorship after falling out with the incumbent Governor Jack Ranguma who she deputised.
Raila’s daughter, Rosemary, was said to have been interested in the Kibra parliamentary seat opted out due to ill-health.
President kenyatta’a relatives have also sought elective seats in the country. Notable among them Nyokabi Gathenja, his cousin and the Woman Representative Kiambu County, who recently lost in the concluded Jubilee primaries. Beth Mugo, a seasoned politician, is also Uhuru’s cousin and a nominated senator.
Wanjiku Muhoho, also a cousin of the president, is vying for the Nyandarua Woman Representative seat as an independent candidate after failing to clinch the Jubilee certificate in the concluded nominations.
Senator Mutula Kilonzo Jnr is running for the Makueni Senate seat which he clinched after his father’s death in 2013.
Others like Vihiga Senator George Khaniri have had uninterrupted terms in Parliament.
In Narok, Lydia Ntimama is keeping her father’s flame burning by running for Woman Rep on a Chama Cha Mashinani ticket while the famous Ole Ntutu political family is playing it safe. This time, Steven Ole Ntutu is not running for an elective post in favour of his younger brother Patrick Ole Ntutu who is gunning for governorship on a Chama Cha Mashinani ticket.
And in Kitui, a dynasty could be in the offing with former journalist Enoch Wambua running for the Senate while his brother-in-law Francis Nyenze is defending his Kitui West parliamentary seat on a Wiper ticket.
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